delgazette.com

Betty A. Brown

January 31, 2013

KANTELE FRANKO

Associated Press

COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. John Kasich has $2.1 million on hand ahead of his 2014 re-election bid.

Campaign finance reports filed Thursday show the Republican governor spent about $244,000 in the second half of the year, mostly on consulting services, and raised nearly $904,000 in contributions. The first-term governor says he plans to run again and has raised more than $2.7 million over the past two years.

Kasich ousted former Gov. Ted Strickland in 2010 in one of the Ohio’s most expensive governor’s races. Strickland’s departure from the field has left Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, former congresswoman Betty Sutton, and Obama consumer watchdog Richard Cordray, a former Ohio treasurer and attorney general, as Kasich’s most likely Democratic challengers.

The Republicans who serve as auditor, treasurer, attorney general and secretary of state also said Thursday they plan to seek re-election. The leaders made their comments during a legislative preview session for journalists organized by The Associated Press.

Those statewide elected officials are also putting away cash for re-election bids next year.

Thursday’s reports showed Secretary of State Jon Husted ended 2012 with more than $1 million in the bank, after raising about $423,000 and spending more than $39,000 in the second half of the year. A potential Democratic rival to Husted, state Sen. Nina Turner of Cleveland, had just $8,300 on hand at year’s end.

Auditor Dave Yost ended the year with just under $350,000 on hand. Attorney General Mike DeWine also has socked away a nest egg of more than $675,000 in the non-election year.

Treasurer Josh Mandel, who spent 2012 in an unsuccessful challenge to U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, has little money left in his state campaign despite raising millions seeking a different office. His total on hand was only about $219, according to his filing.