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Ojeda outraises Miller with out-of-state donations

October 29, 2018 GMT

HUNTINGTON — In West Virginia’s 3rd District race for Congress in the general election, Democrat Richard Ojeda has built up a sizable lead in campaign funds over Republican Carol Miller, with funds from outside the state helping him to build the money advantage.

As of Sept. 30, Ojeda had raised $1.9 million and Miller had raised $1.16 million, according to the most recent Federal Election Commission data. More than 88 percent of Ojeda’s funding has come from outside of West Virginia, while 82 percent of Miller’s funding is in-state.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan research group that tracks political spending, the top five contributors to Ojeda’s campaign are employees from Stanford University; Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google; Wicklow Capital, a Chicago investment company that has supported marijuana legalization; People’s House Project, a Democratic PAC focusing on eight candidates across the country; and University of California employees.

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Miller’s top contributors are Dutch Miller Automotive Group, owned by her husband and sons; Dutch Miller Chevrolet; Mike Kelly Automotive, a Pennsylvania car dealership; Automotive Free International Trade PAC, a PAC for car dealers; and Jenkins Fenstermaker, a Huntington law firm.

The contributions show Cabell County has thrown its support behind Miller, a Huntington native. Along with the dealerships owned by her family, employees at Carsignment, St. Mary’s Medical Center, Radiology Inc., Steptoe & Johnson, Cabell Huntington Hospital and Service Pump & Supply have donated $157,600 to Miller’s campaign. Almost 58 percent of Miller’s funding comes from within the district.

Contributions show Ojeda has won the support of many labor groups. Teamsters, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the American Federation of Teachers, Communications Workers of America, Insulators Union, Laborers Union, Operating Engineers Union, Painters & Allied Trades Union, Plumbers/Pipefitters Union, United Mine Workers of America and United Steelworkers have donated $110,908 to his campaign.

The bulk of both candidates’ contributions comes from large individual donations. Ojeda has had more small individual contributions (less than $200), raising $321,544 as compared with Miller’s $19,502.

Miller has self-financed about 19 percent of her campaign, while Ojeda has not used any of his own personal funds for his campaign, according to the Center of Responsive Politics.

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Among the three congressional districts in West Virginia, the 3rd District by far has the most outside spending from political nonprofits. Democratic PACs have spent $1.37 million in opposition to Miller and Republican PACs have spent more than $680,000 in opposition to Ojeda.

America First Action, a SuperPAC that supports pro-Trump candidates, has spent $704,485 against Ojeda, the most outside spending in the district.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a PAC that works to elect Democrats to the House, spent $658,600 against Miller.

Other big outside spenders include VoteVets.org, a liberal-leaning PAC for veterans, which spent $489,929 against Miller, and the Partnership for an Opioid-Free Appalachia, a SuperPAC funded only by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, which spent $240,000 against Miller — the only candidate the SuperPAC spent money on.