Kasich has $4.4M for ’14 election

COLUMBUS – Ohio Gov. John Kasich has about $4.4 million on hand as he readies his re-election campaign. That’s more than eight times the amount of his Democratic challenger, according to campaign finance reports filed Wednesday.

The Republican governor raised nearly $2.6 million in the first half of the year, while Democrat Ed FitzGerald gathered more than $600,000 in contributions.

FitzGerald, the leader of Cuyahoga County government in Cleveland, officially entered the race in April. He has about $544,000 in the bank.

The candidates are required to disclose activity through June 30, though they can file beyond that date.

FitzGerald’s report includes money he raised through July, including a $119,500 contribution Wednesday from the Ohio Democratic Party.

Wednesday’s report showed the two candidates spent more than $515,000 combined over the filing period on consulting, travel and other expenses.

Other campaign finance reports showed GOP incumbents holding an edge over their Democratic challengers for statewide office. The current officeholders have had more time to fundraise than their potential opponents.

Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted reported $1.6 million on hand, while Democratic state Sen. Nina Turner of Cleveland had nearly $129,000. Attorney General Mike DeWine raised more than twice the amount of David Pepper, a Cincinnati attorney.

Treasurer Josh Mandel, a prolific fundraiser, saw some of the largest gains in campaign cash.

The Republican treasurer began the year about $219 on hand after spending much of 2012 focused an unsuccessful bid for U.S. Senate. Mandel raised more than $1.1 million over the filing period, while Democratic state Rep. Connie Pillich received about $312,000 in contributions.

State Rep. John Carney, a potential Democratic challenger for state auditor, outraised Republican incumbent Dave Yost by about $109,000.

However, Yost had more cash on hand.