Saratoga County

20th Congressional District candidates pour money into TV ads

Alexander “Sandy” Treadwell, who is challenging incumbent Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, has spent $4.5 mi

Alexander “Sandy” Treadwell, who is challenging incumbent Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, has spent $4.5 million on his campaign to date with Gillibrand putting up a little over $3 million for her campaign.

But you haven’t seen the last of Treadwell’s and Gillibrand’s faces on your television screen, yet.

The two candidates for the 20th District congressional race both plan to air more TV ads before the Nov. 4 election.

“Certainly we’ll be up on the air through election day,” said Peter Constantakes, spokesman for Treadwell, the Lake Placid Republican who is challenging Gillibrand for her seat.

And Gillibrand spokeswoman Rachel McEneny said much of the Greenport Democrat’s remaining $1.49 million campaign cash will be spent on TV advertising.

All that money doesn’t sway the majority of voters, who vote along party lines or else tend to lean toward one party or the other, said Leon Halpert, a professor of political science at Siena College.

“For those people who are pretty much convinced one way or another, they really don’t have any effect,” Halpert said of the ads. “If anything, it probably makes them more cynical about campaigns in Congress.”

Advertisements do increase name recognition for the candidates, especially for Treadwell, who needs that boost to overcome the incumbent’s advantage that Gillibrand has from being in office for the last two years.

He has spent $4.5 million in his campaign to date, and pumped $4.4 million of his own money into it.

Outside contributors have given less than $800,000 to Treadwell’s campaign to date, according to the latest campaign finance report filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Gillibrand has spent a little over $3 million to date on her campaign and taken in $4.2 million.

In the last quarter, she ramped up spending on advertising.

Between Aug. 21 and Sept. 30, Gillibrand’s campaign paid $1.1 million for TV airtime to Media Strategies, a Denver, Colo., media buyer.

McEneny said Gillibrand ads will continue to appear until Election Day.

Treadwell’s TV advertising dollars exceeded those of his opponent in the last quarter.

Media Services of Washington, D.C., got $1.2 million of the campaign’s money for campaign ads, and Treadwell also paid $127,200 to Upgrade Films to produce the ads.

He also pumped money into newspaper advertising in the last quarter, including the small weeklies spread throughout the 20th District’s 10 counties.

The high spending totals in the 20th District race aren’t unusual for a race where the challenger is self-funded, said Bob Turner, a Skidmore College political science professor.

“Many candidates get re-elected because they don’t face a well-funded challenger,” Turner said, but added that historically, self-funded candidates don’t do as well at the polls as those who raise equal amounts of money from the community.

Categories: Schenectady County

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