Kathleen Rice fundraising outpaces the field

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice in Mineola

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice in Mineola on Jan. 9, 2014. (Credit: Howard Schnapp)

Travel deals

Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice raised more than twice the funds of any other Long Island congressional candidate -- incumbent or challenger -- in 2014's first quarter.

Campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show that Rice, a Democrat who brought in $1.47 million, has a $1 million cash-on-hand advantage over her potential opponents in the 4th District race to succeed Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola), who is retiring.

In the competitive 1st District, Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) raised $301,000 as he braces for a Republican challenge from state Sen. Lee Zeldin of Shirley or former Securities and Exchange Commission attorney George Demos of Stony Brook.

Zeldin and Demos are locked in a heated primary race, and through March, Zeldin outraised Demos by a 7-1 ratio: $261,060 to $35,245. But Demos -- who loaned his campaign $2 million of family money -- spent $815,686, much of it on mailings, to Zeldin's $157,000.

Bishop retains $720,000 in cash on hand, putting him behind Demos' $1.27 million but ahead of Zeldin's $410,746.

In the 4th District, Rice's fundraising total far outpaced both her Democratic primary challenger, County Legislature Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport), and the top candidates vying for the GOP nomination -- as well as the established incumbents in neighboring districts, Reps. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) and Peter King (R-Seaford).

Abrahams reported raising $109,546 through March.

Republican Bruce Blakeman, a former Nassau legislative presiding officer who has his party's 4th District endorsement, raised $114,200 and loaned himself $200,000 after declaring his candidacy in February. Attorney Frank Scaturro, who lost the 4th District GOP primary in 2012 but won the Conservative nod, reported $37,915 in donations and had $106,225 on hand at the end of the quarter.

'On target'

Blakeman said he was "right on target" with his total, having entered the race later and without yet holding a fundraiser. Scaturro's aides noted that they've raised more funds this year than at the same point in 2012, when they got 45 percent of the vote in the GOP primary.

Abrahams' campaign declined to comment.

Rice's fundraising, said her spokesman Eric Phillips, sets her up as "the only candidate who's building a campaign capable of defeating the special interests and the outside money."

Rice received a wide range of support from local and national figures. More than 150 individuals gave $2,600 -- the individual limit -- each for both the primary and general election. Top donors under the same firms or families include the Katzes, who operate the Farmingdale private jet firm Talon Air, who gave Rice a combined $26,000 when all members' donations were counted.

Scott Rechler, who runs RXR Realty, and family members Gabrielle, Deborah and Todd combined to give Rice $20,800.

Rice's top political action committee donors included the Off the Sidelines PAC founded by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Cablevision, which owns Newsday. Both PACs gave her $10,000 each.

Individual donors to Blakeman were led by members of the Kadish family of Old Westbury, real estate investors who combined to give $15,600. Scaturro's top contributors were Manhasset physician Jeffrey Stahl and his wife, Dina, who gave a combined $10,400.

Abrahams' top single donor, at $5,200, was Arthur Katz, who runs a Uniondale exterminating business.

In the 1st District, Bishop's top donors were Bay Shore retirees Louis and Marion Modica and college administrator Anthony Schmidt and his wife, J. Lorraine, of Hobe Sound, Fla. Each couple combined to give $10,400.

Zeldin's contributors were led by Peter and Mary Kalikow of Manhattan, and Fort Lee, N.J., real estate developer David Mack and his wife, Sondra. Each couple combined to give $10,400.

D.C. backer

Demos' leading donor during the period was Washington, D.C., billboard company executive Christopher Tavlarides, who contributed $3,000.

In the 2nd District, King raised $164,599 and spent $60,501. King, who is considering a 2016 presidential run, ended the first quarter of 2014 with $2.76 million on hand.

King had numerous individuals give him $5,200 during the quarter, including former New York City mayoral candidate Joe Lhota and Kenneth Langone, a co-founder of The Home Depot.

His likely Democratic opponent, civic activist Patricia Maher, just created her campaign account, and has yet to report raising any money.

In the 3rd District, Israel raised $631,299 through March and has $1.42 million on hand. He'll face a Republican challenge from either Grant Lally, a Mineola attorney, or Stephen Labate, an Iraq War veteran who lost to Israel in 2012. Lally, a late entry, raised $18,000, while Labate raised $30,305.

Israel has had dozens of individuals give him $5,200 to date, but much of his support came from PACs, with about 10 of them, representing everything from machinists to teachers to large financial institutions, giving him $5,000 each in the first quarter.

Labate's top individual donors were Melville finance executive Bruce Guarino and his wife, Marisol, who combined to contribute $5,400, and the Citizens for Veterans in Government PAC, which gave $5,000.

Lally's leading donors were Smithtown retiree Janette Byrnes and Centre Island attorney Lawrence Lally, each of whom gave $5,000.

Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-St. Albans), whose 5th District includes parts of Nassau, raised $86,550 and spent $91,782. He ended with $69,303 on hand.

His individual donors were led by Nickolai Bobrov, a Milton, Mass., consultant, who gave $5,000. Several PACs, representing freight carriers and insurance firms, also contributed $5,000 each. With Robert Brodsky

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