"Ohio Gov. DeWine Campaign Got Secret $2.5 Million Boost From Power Company"

"A dark money group funded by FirstEnergy spent $2.5 million to support the GOP hopeful as the utility pushed bailout of struggling nuclear plants."

"In 2018, Akron-based FirstEnergy donated $2.5 million to a Republican Governors Association-affiliated dark money group backing GOP nominee Mike DeWine in a competitive race for Ohio governor, according to newly released records.

The records show FirstEnergy’s extensive behind-the-scenes work to get DeWine elected.

"This Fall Governor race is very important to FirstEnergy from both a legislative and regulatory perspective and getting Mike across the finish line is critical,” then- FirstEnergy CEO Chuck Jones wrote in an Aug. 14, 2018 email invitation to a DeWine fundraiser.

The $2.5 million donation, which had never been disclosed, reveals how invested the power company was in the outcome of the Ohio governor's race between DeWine and Democratic challenger Rich Cordray. At the time, FirstEnergy wanted to bail out two nuclear plants then owned by a subsidiary but faced opposition from Ohio leaders including then-Gov. John Kasich."

Published in the Ohio Capital Journal, the Columbus Dispatch.

Jessie Balmert reports for USA TODAY and Mario Alejandro Ariza reports for Floodlight April 19, 2024.

Source: USA TODAY/Floodlight, 04/23/2024