July 16–The following is an expanded version of the second item from my “Albany Insider” column from Monday’s print editions:
ALBANY — With control of the state Senate up for grabs, Democratic senators have greatly reduced their usual fund-raising gap with Republicans.
The state Democratic Senate Campaign Committee will report having $1.3 million cash on hand. It’s the highest total since the Dems were last in the majority in 2009-10, a spokesman said.
The Senate Republicans, an aide said, will report having nearly $1.9 million on hand.
The last election cycle two years ago, the Republicans in their July filing reported having a combined $3.4 million in their two main campaign accounts. And in the last gubernatorial election year in 2014, the Senate GOP reported having more than $4.8 million on hand in their main campaign account.
By contrast, the Senate Democrats reported having just $722,000 on hand in July two years ago and $1.1 million in July, 2014.
The Dems say many of their top candidates will also each report having six figures on hand when the filings are due on Monday, including James Skoufis, an assemblyman seeking an open Orange County seat. Skoufis, the Democrats say, has $320,000 in his campaign account while Karen Smythe, who is running against GOP incumbent Sen. Terrence Murphy in Westchester County, will report having $215,000 on hand.
“Senate Democrats have never been better positioned for success, with record levels of support and the political winds at our backs as New Yorkers realize the need for dramatic change in the State Senate,” said Sen. Michael Gianaris, the Queens Democrat who heads his conference’s campaign committee.
The Senate GOP notes that in addition to their $1.9 million on hand, Senate GOP Majority Leader John Flanagan will report having $1.4 million in his campaign account, not only the highest he’s ever had, but also money that can be transferred to help different Republican candidates.
“We continue to raise funds at a tremendous pace in order to have the resources to remind New Yorkers that our majority is the only thing standing in the way of (Gov.) Andrew Cuomo, (New York City Mayor) Bill de Blasio, and the socialists who have taken over the Democratic party calling all the shots and controlling our entire state,” said Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif. “That’s what’s really at stake in November.”
Currently, the Senate Republicans have a bare majority thanks to Brooklyn Sen. Simcha Felder, a Democrat who actually caucuses with the GOP. But at the end of the legislative session, the Republicans did not have the 32 votes needed to pass legislation without Democratic help because a Suffolk County GOPer left for Navy active duty.
This article provided by NewsEdge.