Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Cincy Post Covers OH-01 Fundraising Report

Cranley is gaining in fund raising

WASHINGTON -- Cincinnati City Councilman John Cranley, a Democrat, out-raised Republican incumbent Congressman Steve Chabot during the second quarter of the year.

Cranley, of Price Hill, raised $463,000 from April through June and has raised $938,000 for the campaign to date, according to records his campaign filed over the weekend with the Federal Election Commission. He had $776,000 in the bank at the end of June.

Chabot, a six-term congressman from Westwood, raised $342,000 during the second quarter - about $120,000 less than Cranley - but still has significantly more money in the bank than Cranley.

Chabot had nearly $1.4 million in the bank at the end of June, nearly twice as much as Cranley.

"As a challenger, we will always be behind" in terms of fund raising, said Cranley spokesman Elliott Ruther.

"But that said, the support for Mr. Cranley to win this seat continues to grow. It will always be difficult to compete with all of the special interest money in DC."

Chabot's campaign downplayed the significance of Cranley raising more money than Chabot this quarter and said the congressman is well-positioned heading into the fall campaign.

"We out-raised Cranley in the first quarter, and we have doubled the amount of cash on hand," said Chabot campaign manager Mike Ensminger. "We're focused on winning the race."

This is the second race in which the two have engaged for Ohio's 2nd District House seat.

Cranley burst onto the local political scene in 2000 with a 9-point loss to Chabot. Cranley used that race as a springboard to a City Council appointment two months later, and was subsequently elected to a full term in 2001.

He was re-elected in 2003 and 2005.

Across the river in Northern Kentucky, Republican Congressman Geoff Davis remains far ahead of Democrat challenger Ken Lucas in the race for campaign dollars.

Davis, a first-term congressman from Hebron, has raised more than $2.5 million for his re-election campaign and has $1.5 million in the bank.

That means Davis will head into the fall campaign with nearly three times as much money in the bank as Lucas, who beat back a challenge from Davis in 2002.

"We will have the resources we need to run a top-tier campaign, to communicate our positive message of achievement for Kentucky's 4th District and to defend ourselves from the negative attacks that are certain to come from our opponent," said Davis campaign manager, Justin Brasell.

Lucas, a former three-term congressman who is trying to win back his old seat, has raised $734,000 so far and has $610,000 in the bank.

Davis may be far out front of Lucas in terms of fund-raising, but Lucas's aides say he is about where they expected him to be at this point in the race. In fact, the last two quarters have been the most successful in Lucas' career for generating campaign war chest dollars, said campaign consultant Bob Doyle.

Lucas, who did not jump into the race until the end of January, raised nearly $400,000 during the first quarter of the year and another $318,000 from April through June.

"We know we are going to be able to raise enough money to fully fund the campaign," Doyle said.

The race between Davis and Lucas, already one the most closely watched in the country, is quickly turning into the most expensive contest ever for Northern Kentucky's seat in Congress.

For his part, Davis set a new record for the district by raising $732,000 from April through June, the period covered in the latest campaign reports. The $1.5 million that he has in the bank also set a new record for cash on hand in the district, Davis' campaign said.

"It's clear that Lucas' only chance to win," Brasell said, "will be from outside organizations like the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee, MoveOn.org., and other liberal groups funding negative attack ads against Congressman Davis," Brasell said.

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