Statewide Races: News and Notes
Big doings in the statewides:
Governor: Rep. Ted Strickland (D-Lisbon) has overwhelmed Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R-Cincinnati) in fundraising. The Toledo Blade reports today that Strickland "has 10 times as much money in his campaign war chest," having raised "about $1.39 million in recent weeks compared to the $509,000 collected by Mr. Blackwell." After massive expenditures, Strickland has about $1.79 million left on hand, compared to about $172,000 for Blackwell.
ADDENDUM: I forgot to mention that a SurveyUSA poll released yesterday shows Strickland with a 30 point lead:
62% Strickland (D)
32% Blackwell (R)
1% Fitrakis (G)
1% Pierce (I)
563 likely voters, margin of error 4.1 points.
Attorney General: The Akron Beacon Journal endorsed Betty Montgomery (R-Perrysburg) on Wednesday, based on her years of experience in statewide office, although questioning her leadership in the area of consumer protection while she was attorney general. Although the editors praised State Sen. Marc Dann (D-Liberty Township) for his work unearthing Republican corruption, they did not address his argument that Montgomery failed to take action as attorney general and auditor to detect or prevent financial scandals like Coingate, apparently dismissing these contentions.
Montgomery outraised Dann by $535,000 to $492,000 in October and has $1.52 million on hand compared to $303,550 for Dann, according to the Blade.
Auditor: The Toledo Blade today endorses Rep. Barbara Sykes (D-Akron) over Rep. Mary Taylor (R-Green), discounting Taylor's status as a CPA because the position is "largely administrative" and instead writing that the job requires "a person who understands the importance of employing well-trained financial auditors and insists they do their work aggressively, something we are convinced did not occur on Ms. Montgomery's watch with regard to Coingate." The editors note that as deputy auditor for administration in Summit County, Sykes "helped clean up corruption that ultimately led to criminal convictions for county officials guilty of financial transgressions."
The Ohio Elections Commission dismissed Taylor's complaint about the new Sykes TV ad yesterday. Taylor had complained that an unfavorable quote from the Akron Beacon Journal about her was a misquote and the date was wrong. Sykes blamed typographical errors by the firm that produced the and and said the errors had been corrected. Sykes also announced she would leave the Pay to Play slogan in the ad but remove quotation marks so that it did not appear it was taken from the same Beacon Journal editorial. The Warren Tribune-Chronicle also endorsed Sykes today.
The Akron Beacon Journal today chastises Sykes for misusing text from its endorsement in the TV ad, but did not go so far as withdrawing the endorsement.
Taylor collected $104,000 in October and has $948,000 on hand, while Sykes raised $221,000 and has $403,000 left, according to the Blade.
Secretary of State: The Ohio Elections Commission dismissed complaints by each candidate yesterday. The panel rejected the complaint by Greg Hartmann (R-Cincinnati) that the TV ad by Jennifer Brunner (D-Columbus) falsely portrayed her sentencing in a criminal case to make her appear tougher on crime, and also threw out Brunner's argument that Hartmann lied to the Dayton Daily News when he said that the judgment entered against him and former employer Airline Distribution Services Inc. was a corporate debt for which he is not personally liable. Hartmann allowed the default judgment to be entered against him personally (as well as against the corporation) when he failed to appear and defend against the lawsuit, but Hartmann contends that he was not properly served with the complaint and that he did not co-sign the corporate contract, although Brunner put forward proof that he submitted a credit application to plaintiff Pepsico, Inc., in connection with the deal.
Brunner raised $361,000 in October and has $224,000 available to spend while Hartmann raised only $140,000 but has $626,000 on hand, according to the Blade.
Treasurer: The Toledo Blade endorsed Richard Cordray (D-Grove City) over Sandra O'Brien (R-Rome) on Wednesday, joining virtually every other newspaper in Ohio. Cordray has $203,000 cash on hand, dwarfing the $27,000 available to O'Brien, according to the Blade.
Supreme Court: Ben Espy (D-Columbus) raised only $72,000 in October and has $120,000 on hand, according to the Blade. William O'Neill (D-South Russell) doesn't accept campaign contributions. It appears that Robert Cupp (R-Lima) and Terrence O'Donnell (R-Rocky River) did not file on time, but they presumably have large campaign war chests due to the support of business organizations.