Kasich Begins Campaign Year With Huge Cash Advantage Over Rival

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UPDATED: Friday January 31, 2014 6:12 PM

Gov. John Kasich begins his 2014 reelection campaign with nearly $8 million cash on hand and is outpacing his likely Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald by over a 5 to 1 margin.

Numbers in his campaign finance report filed today with the secretary of state show Kasich raised $4.5 million in the second half of 2013.

That leaves him with around $7.9 million, far above what he had raised at this point as a challenger to Governor Ted Strickland four years ago.

By contrast, FitzGerald reports around $1.4 million cash on hand.  That includes a hefty donation made to FitzGerald by the Ohio Democratic Party of over $458,000.

Two top Ohio political strategists, Republican Bob Clegg and Democrat Dale Butland, had differing views on what is likely to be a huge cash advantage for Kasich.

"FitzGerald has a problem because the political environment is not in his favor," said Clegg.  "Kasich was able to stay close to Strickland in fundraising four years ago, he had a good political environment and he barely won.  I should also point out the last Republican governor to lose reelection was 1962."

"Those who have the most money don't always win, as we just saw in the recent school levy campaign," said Butland.  "FitzGerald doesn't have to match Kasich dollar for dollar.  He just needs enough to get his message out.  If he does he's got a real shot because regular people are going to know that Ed FitzGerald is on their side and John Kasich isn't."

The Ohio Coal political action committee was among the top donors to Kasich, contributing the maximum allowed.

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