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Ohio Democrats losing battle of campaign coffers  
February 5, 2012 

COLUMBUS -- If campaign cash were votes, Democrats are already losing in their bid to claw their way back into relevancy in the Ohio General Assembly. 

Campaign-finance reports filed Tuesday showed majority Republicans sitting on a massive pot of cash nine months ahead of this year’s elections for state Senate and House seats. 

Senate Democrats, outnumbered better than 2 to 1 in the 33-member chamber, showed a campaign bank account containing $38,555 compared with the $3.5 million in majority Republican caucus coffers. 

That’s on top of what the candidates themselves have. Democrats are also not likely to get much help from new state legislative districts redrawn by Republicans. 

In the House, where they hold a 59-40 majority, Republicans have outraised Democrats 10 to 1. House Republicans have $4.1 million on hand to $410,657 for Democrats. 

“It would be disingenuous for me [not] to say that it’s a lot easier to raise money in the majority than it is in the minority, but in short the amount of money you raise reflects support for you … “ said Rep. Matt Hufffman (R., Lima), chairman of the House Republican campaign effort. 

He said he believes Republicans are in a good position going into the November election. 

“We have 59 incumbents, and there are strong candidates,” Mr. Huffman said. “Only four of those seats are retiring members. You start with that number. There are a couple of newly created districts where I think we have good opportunity, and there are four or five Democratic seats that we think we have an opportunity to win also.” 

Despite the finances, House Minority Leader Armond Budish (D., Beachwood) said he feels good about Democrats’ chances in 2012. Democrats, after two years in the majority, lost their control of the lower chamber in 2010 in a statewide Republican tide. 

“We will have sufficient funds to be competitive if not better,” he said. “Most importantly, we worked very hard over the last year to identify candidates all over the state. For the first time, I think, in anybody’s memory, we have candidates in all 99 districts. There will not be an extremist, radical Republican that will get a bye.” 

Democrats are also counting on Ohioans’ remembering last year’s long fight over collective bargaining power that ended with overwhelming voter rejection of the Republican-enacted Senate Bill 5. 

“We have [candidates] from labor,” Mr. Budish said. “We have teachers. We have firefighters, police officers, steelworkers, and others that have been energized by the right-wing agenda that Republicans have rammed through. They want to win, and they will do what is necessary to communicate their concerns to the voters.” 

Read this and other articles at the Toledo Blade

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