Records: Nassau executive candidates' last-minute fundraising blitz yields hundreds of thousands in contributions
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In an 11th-hour fundraising blitz, Thomas Suozzi, the Democratic candidate for Nassau County executive, garnered nearly $200,000 in campaign contributions over a three-day period, state records show.
His rival, incumbent Republican Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, received a flurry of last-minute donations as well, hauling in $123,000, according to records at the state Board of Elections.
The amounts reflect contributions the campaigns received in the last week but were not reported in the candidates' Oct. 25 filing statement.
Among other late contributions to Nassau hopefuls, Democratic comptroller candidate Howard Weitzman netted $34,000 from the Nassau County Police Benevolent Association. Democratic District Attorney Kathleen Rice reported receiving $28,500, including $15,000 from the Service Employees International Union Local 1199, an influential health care union.
Suozzi's campaign reported receiving $194,500 from Sunday through Tuesday. This included $25,000 from Frank Feinberg of Locust Valley, a former wine industry executive who had donated to Suozzi previously; $25,000 from the Donald Zucker Co., a developer, and $10,000 from the campaign fund of Democratic Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.
Mangano received $10,000 from the campaign of State Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), $5,000 from the state Conservative Party, and $5,000 from a subsidiary of Veolia Transportation, the company that runs Nassau's bus service.
The influx of late cash likely will be used in voter turnout operations rather than attempts to reach swing voters with new ads, said veteran political consultant Michael Dawidziak. That means phone banks and door-to-door efforts to reach potential supporters, said Dawidziak, who typically works with Republicans, but who isn't involved in the Nassau County executive race.
"If you haven't persuaded someone by now to vote for you, you probably won't," he said. "So you have to concentrate on getting out everyone who you think is going to vote for you. You're trying to gin up your base."
He added: "The only way you can reach a large amount of people in that short a time is the phone."
Mangano still has an overall fundraising edge. As of the candidates' Oct. 25 filing, Mangano had $621,000 in his coffers; Suozzi $472,000.
The PBA contribution to Weitzman more than doubled the amount of cash he has on hand for the final week. But he still faces a huge fundraising disadvantage: As of Oct. 25, his Republican opponent, Comptroller George Maragos, had $984,000 to Weitzman's $56,000.