Ryan Senate Bid Off to ‘Strong Start’ with $2.28M Raised in Q2

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan raised $2.28 million for his U.S. Senate bid during the second quarter, his campaign announced Thursday.

The campaign also reports more than $2.6 million in cash on hand, with contributions from Ohioans in each of the state’s 88 counties, according to the news release announcing the quarterly fundraising results. The total is more than any Democratic challengers for Senate in Ohio have raised during the second quarter of an off year.

“This is a really strong start for him in terms of fundraising,” said Paul Sracic, chairman of Youngstown State University’s department of politics and international relations. “We’ll see if he can keep it up over the next year or so.”

“Tim Ryan’s historic fundraising is just one way that he’s shown he’s ready to flip Ohio’s open U.S. Senate seat and give Ohio the most pro-worker Senate delegation in the country,” Tim Ryan for Ohio spokeswoman Izzi Levy said. “From now through next November, Tim will continue to unify Ohioans and build grassroots power with his relentless focus on the working people of this state.”

The sum is nearly double the $1.2 million Ryan, D-13 Ohio, raised during the first quarter, before his formal announcement April 26 that he would seek the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the Republican incumbent, Rob Portman.

The average online contribution was just under $27 and 96% of all contributions made were less than $100, according to the release.

Those numbers indicate Ryan has broad support and that he isn’t relying on large-money donors, Sracic said. He characterized Ryan’s fundraising for the quarter as “significant” given how early it is in the race.

Ryan is the only “serious Democrat” in the race, so any “serious money” to support a Democratic candidate is going to go to him, he added. He will need the money to define himself to voters who aren’t familiar with him. The Howland Democrat was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002 and mounted a brief run for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president.

He also was curious to see the breakdown of where the money is coming from, given the race’s national significance in terms of control of the Senate and because Democrats believe the Senate seat is one they can flip. While in-state contributions would be “somewhat of an indication of support within the state,” where he needs citizens to vote for him, it wouldn’t be unusual for a lot of money to come from outside Ohio because of the race’s national significance.

In contrast to Ryan’s status as the sole major Democrat running, the Republican field is growing, with author J.D. Vance recently joining a field that already includes names such as former Ohio GOP chairwoman Jane Timken, former state treasurer Josh Mandel, and businessman Michael Gibbons and Bernie Moreno, among others.

Last week, Mandel’s campaign reported raising $1.5 million during the second quarter, and Timken raised $1.4 million for the period. Gibbons said he raised $6 million for his campaign, though reportedly $5 million came from the candidate himself.

“This is going to be a tremendously expensive race,” Sracic remarked. That’s in part because so many Republicans are running but also because Ohio is a broad state with multiple media markets.

Pictured: In this file photo from April 26, 2021, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan announces his bid for Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman’s seat.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.