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Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) has a significant lead in the money race over his GOP challenger, State Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), with two months to go before the campaigns kick into high gear for the Nov. 4 election.
Bishop, who is seeking his seventh term in the East End district, reported having $1.1 million in the bank at end of June, much more than Zeldin's $136,359, according to their filings with the Federal Election Commission today.
Zeldin, on his second attempt to win the congressional seat in the First District, has raised $850,387 for this election cycle, but he had to spend $714,029 in a primary to defeat Ronkonkoma attorney George Demos, who spent at least $2 million in a bid to win the right to challenge Bishop.
From June 5 to June 30, Bishop raised $348,886 and Zeldin raised $115,795, according to their filings.
But Bishop's clear advantage over Zeldin in fundraising now may mean less once the campaign heats up in the fall - outside money is expected to come pouring into the district, much as it did during the primary.
Already, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said it has reserved $1.4 million in air time for ads to help Bishop, and the National Republican Congressional Committee said it has ordered $1.1 million in air time for ads to back Zeldin.
And then there are the super PACs and so-called social welfare nonprofits, expected to again pour money into the Bishop-Zeldin race.