COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — In the race for governor, Republican incumbent Mike DeWine has significantly outraised his opponent, Democrat Nan Whaley, during the general election cycle — at two deadlines disclosing double her amount in campaign contributions.
Campaign finance reports released Oct. 27 show DeWine and running mate Jon Husted brought in more than $1.3 million during most of October, according to information from the Ohio secretary of state. Whaley and running mate Cheryl Stephens netted a little more than $645,000 in the same month.
The pre-general filings paint the final picture of candidates’ cash ahead of Nov. 8, where DeWine has more than $7 million on hand and Whaley has just under $745,000.
Although each candidate’s previous monthly reports filed in September, August, and July did not disclose expenditures, the most recent reports also show DeWine has spent $6.8 million to Whaley's $3.8 million since the May primary.
In September, DeWine raised $1.5 million and Whaley was a little shy of $1.2 million; in August, DeWine brought in $1.5 million and Whaley raised around $900,000; and in July, DeWine netted $2.5 million and Whaley brought in a little more than $1 million, according to monthly filings with the secretary of state.
The money in the race is a far cry from the last gubernatorial election in the state, when DeWine beat out Democratic candidate Richard Cordray for the governor's desk being vacated by John Kasich.
In their October 2018 pre-general filings, DeWine's expenditures totaled $11.8 million and Cordray's were just under $10 million, according to secretary of state data.
Whaley, 46, is the former mayor of Dayton. Before her eight years as mayor, she served two terms as a city commissioner.
DeWine, 75, is running for a second term after first taking the governor’s office in 2019. But he’s no stranger to public office: DeWine has served in federal, state, and local public offices since 1976.
University of Cincinnati political science professor David Niven said that longevity is one of the edges DeWine has in raising funds.
“He has the incumbent’s advantage. He has the advantage of being a Republican in a Republican-trending state. He has the advantage of a long history of building a financial network to fund his campaigns,” Niven said.
Niven -- who previously wrote speeches for former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland and has also worked on political campaigns -- said most candidates dedicate a lot of their time to attracting donors’ attention.
Still, he said this governor's race may be relatively less-funded because outside organizations have gone after tighter faceoffs. Most independent polls have placed DeWine double-digits ahead of Whaley.
That is in stark contrast to the U.S. Senate race, flush with cash from inside and outside Ohio and ranked by the bulk of pollsters as a statistical dead heat.
"The candidates are hustling for every dollar,” Niven said.
In their pre-general reports, DeWine and Whaley received contributions from their state party's candidates fund -- with DeWine receiving $400,000 and Whaley $50,000 for October.