Cincinnati mayoral race: John Cranley raises more money than Roxanne Qualls

Both candidates plan TV push next week

CINCINNATI - The latest campaign finance reports filed in Cincinnati’s mayoral race show John Cranley is both raising more money and spending more money than Roxanne Qualls.

Thursday was the deadline for candidates to file pre-primary finance reports. The documents cover activity from July 1 to Aug. 21.

During the reporting period, Cranley raised $82,791 to Qualls’ $61,017.

Cranley spent $199,398 during the period compared to $69,557 spent by Qualls.

Also, Cranley carried forward more money from previous reporting periods than Qualls did. Cranley brought forward $264,142 compared to $192,621 for Qualls.

Overall, Cranley has raised more money than Qualls since each launched their campaigns.

Cranley has raised a total of $561,839 compared to $409,017 for Qualls.

The primary election in the mayoral race is less than two weeks away, on Sept. 10.

Jens Sutmoller, Qualls’ campaign manager, is confident about the numbers.

"We're on track to raise our projected fundraising goal, and it shows in the broad range of support Roxanne has received," Sutmoller said.

“I am pleased our fundraising momentum keeps growing and am grateful that so many individuals support my campaign for mayor,” Qualls said in a prepared statement.

During the July 1 to Aug. 21 reporting period, 347 individual donors contributed to the Qualls campaign. The average donation was $175.

That compares to 242 individual donors for Cranley during the period. But the average donation to Cranley was higher -- $342 – and some donors contributed more than once.

Sutmoller said the trends among Qualls’ contributors show her campaign has a wide range of supporters that make both small and large donations.

Jay Kincaid, Cranley’s campaign manager, said the numbers are clear: There’s more support for Cranley.

“We continue to outraise her. We do that with broad support for people who believe in John,” Kincaid said.

“Our supporters believe in saying yes to finishing the riverfront park, yes to paving our streets, and yes to keeping cops on our streets,” he added. “And they believe in saying no to bad ideas like leasing our parking meters for 30 years or building the streetcar system.”

Cincinnati’s charter sets contribution limits for the mayoral race. The limits are $1,100 for individuals, $2,700 for PACs and $10,500 from political parties or legislative campaign funds.

Cranley already has begun airing TV commercials, which Qualls hasn’t done yet. A mix of 30-second and 60-second spots began airing Aug. 22.

Qualls filmed a TV commercial last weekend, and has purchased airtime on local stations for the week before the primary, Sept. 2-8.

Qualls has bought airtime amounting to 444 gross rating points, on a combination of broadcast and cable TV outlets.

By comparison, Cranley has purchased 775 points for the same period, and a total of 1,775 points since Aug. 22.

Points are the total of ratings achieved for a media schedule and provide an estimate for the exposure of the target audience to a campaign's advertising, according to Stephen D. Hull, a political consultant who writes about media advertising.

Generally, 100 points means the average TV viewer will see a commercial once, so 500 points should expose an average viewer to a commercial five times, Hull said.

Cincinnati’s mayoral race is non-partisan. Cranley and Qualls are both Democrats, and the two top vote-getters emerging from the primary face off in the November election.

Also running in the race are Libertarian Jim Berns and independent Queen Noble.

Qualls currently is vice mayor. A Realtor, she lives downtown. Cranley is an ex-city councilman and an attorney who lives in Mount Lookout.

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