He might not be the incumbent, but Brad Wenstrup said details contained in the latest campaign finance reports show he has more grassroots support among the GOP faithful than U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Miami Township).
Wenstrup is challenging Schmidt in the March 6 Republican primary for the right to be the party’s candidate for the Ohio 2nd Congressional District seat in November.
In the latest campaign finance reports, filed Jan. 31 and covering the last quarter of 2011, Wenstrup raised more money from individual contributors than Schmidt did.
From Oct.-Dec. 2011, Wenstrup received $49,640 from individuals. That compares to $42,712 that Schmidt received.
"I am excited to announce that Wenstrup for Congress outraised not only incumbent Congresswoman Schmidt, but also all other candidates combined — Republican and Democrat — among individual donors in the fourth quarter,” Wenstrup said, in a prepared statement.
“The people of Southwest Ohio are ready for principled leadership, and I am humbled at the depth of their support,” he added.
Schmidt still raised more money overall.
For the entire election cycle so far, Schmidt has raised $512,817 and spent $407,344.
Her top five contributors are American Financial Group, which gave $19,500; JTM Provisions at $11,000; Baker Concrete Construction at $10,000; USEC Inc. at $5,750; and Procter & Gamble at $5,600.
By comparison, Wenstrup raised $166,290 and spent $68,885. The figures include $15,000 that Wenstrup gave to his own campaign.
Schmidt is seeking her fourth full term in the U.S. House of Representatives after winning a special election in 2005 to replace longtime Rep. Rob Portman. She’s a former schoolteacher and fitness instructor from Miami Township who’s active in the Right to Life movement.
Wenstrup is making his first run for Congress, after running unsuccessfully for Cincinnati mayor against incumbent Democrat Mark Mallory in 2009. He is a podiatrist who lives in Columbia Tusculum, and has served as a surgeon in the U.S. Army Reserves in Iraq.
Two other minor candidates are running in the GOP primary. They are