News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.
ALBANY - Becoming the state's top Republican has helped bolster Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan's campaign coffers.
Newly filed records show Flanagan (R-East Northport) raised $276,837 over the past six months -- four times what he raised over an equivalent period in the 2013-14 election cycle.
First elected to the Senate in 2002, Flanagan had never been one of the top Republican fundraisers in part because his Suffolk County-based seat was considered politically safe. In the first six months of 2013, for example, he raised $69,625.
But that's changed in 2015. Flanagan was elected Senate leader in May by his colleagues following the indictment of Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) on corruption charges. Skelos pleaded not guilty, but his colleagues forced him to resign as leader; Skelos has retained his Senate seat.
Among Flanagan's biggest donors since he took over were Empire Dental Political Action Committee ($8,000), Medical Liability Mutual Insurance PAC ($6,000) and the Greater NY Nursing Home PAC ($5,000).
Flanagan spent $38,000 over the past six months and now has $502,000 in his campaign account.