Ohio Supreme Court candidate Cynthia Rice missed deadlines for campaign finance reports 9/13/16

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Ohio Supreme Court nominee Cynthia Rice’s campaign filed two required campaign finance reports with the state on Tuesday, several weeks after they were due.

Rice’s campaign won’t face penalties for the delay in submitting the campaign finance reports for July and August, according to the Ohio secretary of state’s office. Every candidate for statewide office in Ohio must report their campaign contributions for July, August, and September within three days of the end of each month, respectively.

Ohio Democratic Party spokeswoman Kirstin Alvanitakis said that thanks to a change in campaign personnel, Rice’s campaign wasn’t aware of the issue until a few days ago. Alvanitakis said she didn’t know more details about the change or why that caused the campaign to delay submitting the information.

Husted spokesman Josh Eck said Rice’s campaign won’t be penalized for the delay, as it’s standard procedure for the secretary of state’s office to give campaigns a final chance to submit late reports to avoid referring them to the Ohio Elections Commission for possible discipline.

The reports themselves are hardly salacious: they show that Rice received $40,505 in contributions in August and ended that month with $216,552 on hand. Her July report shows no contributions, though an earlier campaign finance report, submitted July 29, lists $62,400 in donations between July 1 and July 28.

Even though candidates aren’t required to list campaign expenses in these monthly reports, Rice’s campaign reported spending $17,563 in July and $20,978 in August.

Rice, who serves on Ohio’s 11th District Court of Appeals, was asked about the missing reports Tuesday during an endorsement interview with the editorial board of cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer.

Rice initially said “there’s no need to” send in the reports, noting she submitted a campaign finance report on time for the first half of 2016.

When Pat DeWine, her GOP opponent who also attended the interview, said the law requires monthly filings, Rice said, “I’ll check on that. My accountants would be mortified [if they weren’t filed properly].”

Rice and DeWine are running to succeed retiring Supreme Court Justice Paul Pfeifer, a Republican.

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