Candidates for House race already raise $6M

GHENT–Seven candidates vying to represent New York’s 19th Congressional District, including the incumbent Republican John Faso, have already raised a combined total of $6 million in campaign contributions for what promises to be a hotly-contested seat.

According to the latest Federal Elections Commission (FEC) reports filed for the fourth quarter of 2017, the six Democrats who have reported to the commission have raised a total of $4.8 million; Mr. Faso raised $1.2 million.

The district covers all of Columbia County and 10 other counties in the Hudson Valley and Catskills.

Six Democrats are seeking their party’s nomination–and one more candidate, who says she will run as an independent, entered the fray in January. Whoever emerges from the June 26 Democratic Primary will face Mr. Faso, an experienced political fundraiser and campaigner. The challenges acknowledged by Democrats are which candidate can raise a substantial war chest and organize an effective campaign.

The Democratic fundraising to date stacks up like this: Antonio Delgado, $1,481,426; Brian Flynn, $1,255,003, Pat Ryan, $906,979; David Clegg, $485,795; Gareth Rhodes, $450,339 and Jeff Beals ,$174,443.

Diane Neal entered the campaign in January, after the December reporting deadline. She has said that she will run as an independent. She has a presumed advantage among challengers because of her name recognition from a career as a TV actor in series that include “Law and Order.”

The Democratic candidates so far have relied almost entirely on individual contributions and their private funds. Playing a significant part in the total sums raised are personal loans by candidates to their own campaigns. Three candidates have made such loans: Bryan Flynn, $650,000 or 52% of his total; David Clegg, $318,000 or 66%; and Jeff Beals, $56,000 or 32%. Under Federal law there are no limits on the amount a candidate can contribute to his or her campaign.

The influence of political action committees (PAC’s) is also a factor. Mr. Faso has relied on PACs and authorized committees for 42% of his funds raised so far. Of Mr. Faso’s contributions, $629,827 came from individuals.

Funds raised from individuals by Democrats running for the nomination in 19th District as of December 31, 2017 are:

• Delgado, $1,352,028

• Flynn, $568,428

• Ryan, $789,278

• Clegg, $156,573

• Rhodes, $370,622

• Beals, $103,993

­­How do these amounts compare with the 2016 congressional race won by Mr. Faso? Democrat Zephyr Teachout raised $5.1 million in her unsuccessful campaign. Mr. Faso raised $3 million. Will Yandik, who lost the Democratic primary to Ms. Teachout, raised $435,477.

The New York State primary for election to Federal offices is June 26 and the general election is November 6, 2018.

The FEC requires quarterly campaign fundraising reports from candidates for congressional races with January 31, 2018, the latest filing deadline for the quarter ending on December 31, 2017. The next FEC filing deadline is April 15 for the quarter ending March 30.

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