Newcomer in Ohio governor race told to refund campaign cash


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A political newcomer running for Ohio governor must refund $100,000 in campaign contributions that violated limits on cash donations and bans on corporate money, according to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s office.

Republican Joe Blystone, a central Ohio farmer, has until Friday to respond to the violations, according to a letter send to his campaign more than two weeks ago.

Most of the contributions involved exceeded the state’s limit of $100 for each cash contribution, Cleveland.com reported.

A message seeking comment was left with the Blystone campaign on Wednesday.

The secretary of state’s office said a review of Blystone’s campaign finance reports from 2021 found missing information about donors and missing or vague details about expenditures and contributors. It also said the campaign could be required to refund more money that may have come from corporations.

Blystone, who has been working to build grassroots support for his long-shot challenge to DeWine, has gained a following among voters upset with the governor’s business restrictions and other mandates imposed during the pandemic.