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This Ohio Senate candidate has outraised, outspent her Republican opponent over past 4 1/2 months

October 26, 2020

By Michael D. Pitman, Staff Writer

HAMILTON — The Butler County Democratic candidate running for Ohio’s 4th Senate District has outraised and outspent her Republican opponent by six-figure margins, according to campaign finance reports.

In the Nov. 3 general election, voters will seat two new lawmakers in the Ohio House and one in the Ohio Senate.

Candidates for the 4th Ohio Senate seat want to succeed term-limited Sen. Bill Coley, R-Liberty Twp.

Kathy Wyenandt, the Liberty Twp. Democrat seeking the open 4th Senate District, raised more than $206,200, according to the candidate’s pre-general election campaign finance report, which captures contributions and donations from May 29 to Oct. 14. She also spent more than $146,300 on her campaign.

Rep. George Lang, R-West Chester Twp., raised over the past 4-1/2 months nearly $68,900, and spent more than $41,700. The Lang campaign also received a $20,000 loan from the candidate and his wife, according to the report.

Certified write-in candidate Kent Keller received an in-kind donation of $493 for campaign signs.

Wyenandt is attempting to be the first Democrat from Butler County to be elected to the 4th Ohio Senate District since it was created in 1967. The late Walter Powell, formerly of Fairfield, was the inaugural holder of the seat.

This is the second time Wyenandt and Lang have faced off for a Statehouse seat. Two years ago, Lang bested Wyenandt for the 52nd Ohio House District seat with a 16.8 percent margin of victory. While the Ohio House victory was a decisive win for Lang, it was one of the best showings by a Democrat seeking a Statehouse seat in years.

In the past 20 years, the best showing a Democrat has seen for the 4th Ohio Senate seat was West Chester Twp. Democrat Kathryn Bridgman, who received 38.15 percent of the vote in the 2008 election.

Candidates for the 53rd Ohio House seat will succeed Rep. Candice Keller, R-Middletown, who lost in the primary a bid for the Ohio Senate.

Madison Twp. Trustee Thomas Hall and Middletown School Board member Michelle Novak have spent nearly the same amount for their election bids.

Hall, a Republican, has spent $13,250 from May 29 to Oct. 14. Novak, a Democrat, has spent $13,560 over that same span. Hall has more than $12,800 left in his campaign coffers as of Oct. 14, and Novak has more than $7,700.

Both Hall and Novak have received key endorsements. Hall has more than two dozen current and former Republican officeholders and several organizations, and officials, and Novak has received support from former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg.

Lang is bypassing a re-election bid for the 52nd House District, so Republican Jennifer Gross and Democrat Chuck Horn are seeking the open seat.

Gross, of West Chester Twp., has raised $14,350 since the end of May but has only spent $2,000. She had, as of Oct. 14, $19,500 in her campaign coffers.

Horn, of West Chester Twp., is behind Gross in fundraising but has spent nearly $3,000 over the past 4-1/2 months. He had, as of Oct. 14, $5,800 in his campaign coffers.

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