Saturday, July 17, 2004

Incumbents hold fund-raising lead

Congressional races lopsided

By Malia Rulon
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Congressional incumbents continued to hold a huge fund-raising advantage in Ohio while political challengers made some modest gains from early donations, according to campaign finance reports.

Sen. George Voinovich, a Cleveland Republican, has raised the most this election cycle at $7.9 million.

Voinovich raised $854,788 during April, May and June and spent $334,165, according to reports filed Thursday with the Federal Election Commission. That means Voinovich has $5.6 million in the bank to battle challenger Eric Fingerhut this fall.

Fingerhut, a Democratic state senator from Cleveland who served for one term in the U.S. House, hasn't broken $1 million yet. His campaign collected $229,782 during the last three months and $861,955 total.

Fingerhut spent $185,887 in the last three months, about half as much as Voinovich. He has $152,996 on hand going into the months leading up to the Nov. 2 election.

Incumbent U.S. House members, meanwhile, also took in thousands of dollars. Republican John Boehner of West Chester raised $302,291 while Republicans Mike Turner of Dayton and Dave Hobson of Springfield raised more than $260,000 each.

Republican Mike Oxley of Findlay, Hobson and Rep. Rob Portman, a Cincinnati Republican, each have more than $1 million in the bank.

Rep. Steve LaTourette raised the most of any House candidate. The Madison Republican took in $566,116 and spent $137,500, leaving him with $1.1 million.

LaTourette's opponent this fall is Democrat Capri Cafaro, a 26-year-old shopping center heir, who spent $170,000 of her own money to beat four Democrats in the primary election.

Cafaro collected $396,235 during the last three months, including an additional $260,000 of her own money. Cafaro has $307,057 in the bank and plans to match LaTourette's spending, spokesman Mike Cook said.

Meanwhile, Republican Larry Kaczala outraised longtime Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur $196,133 to $109,005.

Kaczala, a former Toledo councilman who now serves as Lucas County auditor, benefited from a high-profile Washington fund-raiser that featured House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

He spent less than half of the $79,452 Kaptur spent during the past three months and has $162,666 left over to Kaptur's $894,094.

In Dayton, Democrat Jane Mitakides raised $140,013 to freshman Rep. Mike Turner's $270,988, but outspent him $105,811 to $88,228. Mitakides has $132,675 in the bank while Turner has more than three times that amount.

Other House challengers raised smaller amounts.

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