GOP megadonator gives $ 10,000 to small town council candidate

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One of Ohio’s biggest political donors wrote a check for $ 10,000 to a candidate for city council in Worthington, a suburb of Columbus with a population of just under 15,000.

Virginia “Ginni” Ragan, whom The Columbus Dispatch has identified as the largest state-level political donor of the past decade, donated $ 10,000 to Mike Duffey’s Worthington City Council campaign in August, according to campaign fundraising reports.

The donation is a staggering sum in a relatively modest race for a sleepy city council post. Excluding Ragan, the average donation size for the race is $ 138, according to an analysis of campaign finance data; all but six of the nearly 200 contributions to all applicants were for amounts less than $ 1,000.

Duffey, a Republican, previously served on the Worthington council from 2005 to 2010 before serving four terms in the Ohio House of Representatives. He is now Senior Vice Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education.

In an email, he confirmed the contribution and noted that he thanked Ragan for it.

“She has supported me for many years now when I have shown up to various offices,” he said.

Over the past 10 years, from October 2011 to present, Ragan has paid at least $ 1.24 million to Ohio Republicans at the state level, not including contributions from family members or federal candidates and committees, according to research of state campaign finance records.

The Columbus Dispatch, analyzing a wider range of documents, found that Ragan paid Ohio Republicans $ 2.3 million at the state level over a 10-year period ending in March.

Ragan serves on the nominating board of the Ohio Public Services Commission, representing the Ohio Department of Aging. The board provides a shortlist of potential commissioners, from which the governor has the final say. She could not be reached for comment via inquiries emailed through PUCO or the Department of Aging.

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