Schenectady County

The race for mayor: Different sources but similar war-chest totals

Almost every manager at City Hall has donated to Acting Mayor Gary McCarthy’s campaign, while oppone

Almost every manager at City Hall has donated to Acting Mayor Gary McCarthy’s campaign, while opponent Roger Hull has received unusually wide support from residents of other cities and states.

But for the first time in this mayoral campaign, the candidates now have nearly the same amount of money to spend, according to the latest financial reports filed by the candidates.

McCarthy, the Democrat, has raised a total of $41,339 from individuals, $18,959 from corporations, $900 in in-kind services and $16,546 in other donations, largely from labor unions. His total: $77,744, of which he has $56,009 left, according to financial statements he filed with the state Board of Elections.

Hull, the founder of the Alliance Party who has also been endorsed by the Republicans, has raised $82,434 in individual contributions, $6,100 from corporations, $2,739 in in-kind services and $1,200 in other donations.

Hull also donated $5,000 to himself and gave himself a $10,000 loan.

His total: $107,473, of which he has $57,007 left, according to his financial statements.

Hull plans to spend far more than that amount, he said. Much of it will go to television and radio commercials.

“TV will be coming on very shortly,” he said. “I’m playing the role of the silent character.”

McCarthy said the fact that he’s spent half of what his opponent has spent thus far shows he’s better at managing limited amounts of money. But, he said, the Democrats have access to far more money in donations to the city and county Democratic committees.

Beneath the numbers are dozens of people who have contributed money — sometimes thousands of dollars. McCarthy has received many donations from labor unions, companies that work regularly with the city and businesses that recently won a contract.

MJ Engineering, for example, recently got an emergency, no-bid contract to look for blockages in the Stockade neighborhood sewer pipes. That company donated $750 to McCarthy’s campaign over the course of the year.

Hull has received many contributions from people who live outside of Schenectady. Out of 124 individual donors, only 50 live in the city. Eleven live in other states: Florida, Colorado, Wyoming, Vermont and Massachusetts. The rest live in the state, primarily in the well-to-do suburbs near Schenectady.

“These are friends,” he said. “These are people who’ve come to know me and trust me. They know me and about my idealism.”

Hull’s biggest donors are the Golub family. Neil Golub gave Hull $1,850 and threw him a fundraising house party, at an estimated cost of $1,355.

Jane Golub gave $3,000. Neil Golub and Hull worked together two decades ago to create Schenectady 2000, which led to the creation of Metroplex to revitalize the downtown. Golub, who has previously supported Democrats, has supported Hull from the first day of his candidacy.

McCarthy, on the other hand, has collected donations from much of City Hall.

Department heads and supervisors gave him a total of $3,145. His biggest supporters were Chief of Operations William Winkler ($700) and Deputy Director of Water and Wastewater Paul LaFond ($460).

He said he’s won over many city workers because of his willingness to implement unusual ideas — such as the new paving process — to get results.

“Really, people want to do things cheapest and the most efficiently,” he said. “As a result of that, I think I have broad-based support from people who have worked with me.”

McCarthy did not collect donations from some of the best-known department heads in the city: the public safety commissioner, police and fire chiefs, the city engineer, and the corporation counsel.

And not all of his fellow council members donated money.

Councilwoman Barbara Blanchard did not donate anything, and outgoing Councilman Thomas Della Sala donated only $20. By comparison, Councilwoman Denise Brucker donated $290 and Councilman Joseph Allen donated $235.

Categories: Schenectady County

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