Tim Bishop holds cash advantage over challenger Lee Zeldin

Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) has a significant head

Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) has a significant head start in the money race over his Republican challenger, state Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), as they gear up for the general election, according to their filings with the Federal Election Commission. Photo Credit: Randee Daddona

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WASHINGTON -- Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) has a significant head start in the money race over his Republican challenger, state Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), as they gear up for the general election, according to their filings with the Federal Election Commission.

Bishop, who is seeking a seventh term representing the East End district, reported he had $1.1 million on hand at the end of June. Zeldin said he had $136,359 left after an expensive June 20 primary victory.

They submitted their reports to the FEC late Tuesday.

Bishop faced no primary foe, but his campaign said he raised a record $525,000 from April through June, including more than 2,000 small-donor contributions of less than $100.

Zeldin said his campaign used $714,029 of the $850,387 it had raised to defeat Ronkonkoma attorney George Demos -- who spent $2.7 million on his race after he loaned his campaign $2.5 million.

Demos was aided by $1.3 million in Americans for Common Sense super PAC ads paid for by his father-in-law, California developer and Democratic donor Angelo Tsakopoulos.

"While the primary was expensive, we have scores of fundraisers planned to replenish our coffers and we will absolutely have the resources necessary to win," said Zeldin spokeswoman Kara Cumoletti.

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Beginning in September, Zeldin and Bishop are expected to boost their fundraising as both national parties, as well as outside super PACs and nonprofit groups, flood the district with TV ads, mailings and robocalls.

Meanwhile, Republican lawyer and businessman Bruce Blakeman loaned his campaign $500,000 on June 30 in his race against Democratic Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice to succeed retiring Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola). That brings Blakeman's total loans to his campaign to $700,000.

As of July 1, Blakeman had $610,138 on hand and Rice had $1.4 million in cash.

"Bruce Blakeman has the resources to win this race and become our next congressman," said spokesman Matt Coleman.

"Kathleen has built an unmatched grassroots network of support," said Rice campaign spokesman Eric Phillips. "She's ruthlessly saved her resources and she's spent wisely building the infrastructure it will take to win in November."

@Newsday

With Paul LaRocco

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