Capital Region

Congressional incumbents lead in fundraising in Capital Region

Incumbents already have $1 million, or close to it
From left, U.S. Representatives Antonio Delgado, Elise Stefanik and Paul Tonko.
From left, U.S. Representatives Antonio Delgado, Elise Stefanik and Paul Tonko.

Whether they currently have a 2020 election opponent or not, the three members of Congress representing the Capital Region have plenty of money in the bank.

Representatives Paul Tonko, Antonio Delgado, and Elise Stefanik all reported having $1 million — or close to it — in their campaign accounts as of June 30, still nearly 17 months ahead of the congressional elections, according to new Federal Election Commission filings.

Tonko and Stefanik each have raised far more than the prospective opponents who’ve announced plans to challenge them.

The most heat about donations has been generated in the North Country’s 21st Congressional District, where Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, is expected to face a rematch of her 2018 contest with Democrat Tedra Cobb of Canton. So far, filings show that Stefanik has raised $1,015,000, while Cobb has raised just over $378,000.

Stefanik’s campaign last week said she raised over $500,000 just in the second quarter, from individual donations and contributions from political action committees.

“I’m grateful for such overwhelming support for our campaign to continue delivering real results for families and small businesses across the district,” Stefanik said in a statment. “This record level of support reflects my independent record of always putting the North Country first, and of reaching across the aisle to deliver real results for the district.”

Cobb, however, has blasted Stefanik for receiving 46 percent of her donations from political action committees — many of them corporate PACs — and has specifically called for Stefanik to return $11,500 donated by the PAC of Amgen, a California biotechnology company that has paid a $24.9 million fine to settle charges of a drug kickback scheme. Stefanik hasn’t responded.

Cobb has taken no money from PACs, and has focused her campaign on health care, saying that Stefanik has followed the Republican party line is seeking to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The $356,000 she raised in the second quarter all came through individual contributions.

“I am proud of the support we have received,” Cobb said in a statement on her campaign finances.“The momentum we are building proves that voters are sick of business as usual in Washington…Congresswoman Stefanik has spent her career in DC supporting policies that help the large corporations that fund her campaigns at the expense of the very families I’ve spent my life fighting to protect.”

In the 2018 election cycle, Stefanik spent nearly $3 million in winning the sprawling district, while Cobb spent $1.5 million in a campaign that included winning a crowded Democratic primary prior to the general election.

In the 20th Congressional District, meanwhile, 10-year incumbent Tonko, D-Amsterdam, has more than $903,000 on his campaign account, while Republican Elizabeth Lemery Joy of Glenville, who announced her campaign this spring and just submitted her first campaign finance report, reported her campaign has $16,909, having collected nearly $23,000 but spent about $6,500. All her funding to date is from individual donations.

Tonko in the second quarter raised $444,000, including about $101,000 in individual donations and $301,000 from PACs, including cobtributions from progressive PACs, other political candidates and corporations.

Tonko spent about $1.24 million in 2018 in defeating Republican Joseph Vitollo.

In the 19th Congressional District, Delgado, D-Rhinebeck, reported having a $1,088,000 fund balance, even though at this point he has no announced opponent in the district that stretches from Montgomery and Schoharie counties through the Catskills into the Hudson Valley.

Delgado, a freshman, spent nearly $9.2 million in 2018, when he won a crowded primary and then defeated incumbent Republican John Faso.

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