The money chase is heating up in two Long Island congressional districts with competitive primary races: among two Democrats vying to face Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) as well as the five Democrats and four Republicans seeking to replace retiring Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington), according to campaign aides Sunday.
In the 1st District on the East End, Democrats Anna Throne-Holst, the former Southampton Town supervisor, and hedge fund executive Dave Calone now each have amassed nearly $1 million in cash in their bids to win the nomination and to run against Zeldin.
Throne-Holst raised $305,000 in the last quarter of 2015 and has $1 million in the bank, her campaign said. Calone collected $255,019 and has $900,394 in cash, an aide said. That figure includes a loan of $25,000 by Calone, adding to the $255,000 he has already sunk into his campaign.
About 3,000 people have contributed to Throne-Holst, with the average contribution $135, her campaign said.
Calone, said his campaign aide Russell Leibowitz, is “one of the top-raising Democratic House challengers in the nation.”
Zeldin, who faces no primary challenger, reported in his filing to the Federal Election Commission on Sunday receipts of $502,105 in the last quarter of 2015 and $1.5 million in the bank.
“It is clear that Congressman Zeldin will have the resources necessary to get out his message and become an increasingly valuable leader in the cause of pursuing a new era of American strength this year and beyond,” said his spokeswoman, Jennifer DiSiena.
Across the Island in the 3rd District, two of the nine candidates seeking to replace Israel, who abruptly announced his retirement on Jan. 5, already have raised six-figure sums for their campaigns.
Republican Jack Martins, a state senator from the 7th District in Nassau County, already has raised $150,000 in the three weeks since he filed to run for the seat, said his spokesman, E. O’Brien Murray.
Republican David Gurfein, a Marine veteran and businessman from Manhasset, reported he has $224,092 in cash after raising $122,860 and spending $27,144 in the last three months of last year. Gurfein announced his candidacy in August, before Israel said he was retiring.
None of the other candidates who filed to set up campaign committees with the FEC has yet reported raising funds.
Before he made his surprise retirement announcement, Israel raised $1.4 million and spent $1.2 million in the last quarter of 2015, leaving him with $933,449 in the bank, according to this campaign finance filing.
In other Long Island races, Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) in the 2nd District, reported raising $139,484 and spent $77,332 in the last three months of 2015, leaving him $2.9 million in cash. King’s Democratic challenger, DuWayne Gregory, presiding officer of the Suffolk legislature, had not filed his campaign report as of early evening.
Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City), who so far has no challenger in the 4th District, had $308,156 in receipts and $674,143 in cash at the end of the year, her campaign said.