State senate candidate Melissa Ackison (R-Marysville), a small business owner and conservative activist, has outraised her opponent in the 26th state senate district Republican primary, Rep. Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin), by over $26,000, according to the last campaign finance reports filed with the Ohio Secretary of State’s office prior to the March 17 election.
Ackison and Reineke are running in what has been called the ugliest primary race in Ohio state legislative history.
Ackison reported raising $48,061 for her campaign between late January and early March. Her top three donations in terms of contribution amounts were: $12,500 from Angela Philips of Middletown, $10,000 coming from Jennifer Smalley of Upper Sandusky, and $10,000 coming from Brian Tschanen of Upper Sandusky.
The Ackison campaign spent $56,314.96 during that same time period, the majority of which was for media advertisements, and reported having $57,577.16 left on-hand.
Reineke’s campaign reported raising $21,925 in the same period. The top three donations for his campaign were: $5,000 from Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s political action committee (PAC), $1,000 from Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company PAC, and $1,000 from the Ohio Chamber of Commerce PAC.
Reineke’s campaign spent $106,314.71 during the reporting period, with the majority of expenditures going towards media advertisements and polling, and reported having $103,239.21 left on-hand.
Ackison, who has never held public office, outraising Reineke, who has served in the Ohio legislature since 2015, is reportedly sounding alarms among the Ohio Republican Party establishment.
“I think it speaks loud and clear to the seriousness from the Republican voter base,” Ackison said of the news that her campaign had outraised Reineke’s. “People are frustrated with the politicians currently serving in Ohio and my opponent falls within that category.”
Ackison said she’s “very proud of the hard work and support from the voting public who truly seeks a citizen legislator and a constitutional conservative Republican who won’t compromise the people by legislating their rights away in favor of political interests or to the highest bidder.”
Reineke’s campaign could not be reached for comment on the fundraising numbers.
The primary election will take place Tuesday, March 17.