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Cuomo spends big on TV ads, trip to Israel, court fight against primary challenger
ALBANY -- This summer, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo faced a headline-grabbing challenger in the Sept. 9 primary, but his fundraising apparently hasn’t suffered.
Cuomo raised $602,777 in the last 19 days, spent $2.4 million on TV ads, polls and a trip to Israel, and still has $30.5 million left in his campaign account, according to filings with the state Board of Elections Friday. He began the period with more than $32 million in his campaign account.
His primary challenger, Zephyr Teachout, didn’t file her report in time for it to be posted by the Board of Elections by the close of business Friday, a campaign spokesman said. She had previously reported a campaign fund that was a fraction of Cuomo's total.
Cuomo’s spending includes more than $17,000 for a two-day trip to Israel that began on Aug. 12. That airfare covered himself and his staffers and two friends, his former brothers-in-law.
Cuomo’s official had said when the trip was announced that it hadn’t been determined if taxpayers or the Cuomo campaign would pay for the goodwill trip. A day later, Cuomo announced it was a state trip, but he’d pay for it with his campaign funds.
The state, however, will pay for his State Police security team that went along, the Albany Times Union reported.