Steve Bellone, the Democratic candidate for Suffolk County executive, raised nearly twice as much as Republican Angie Carpenter in the past three weeks, according to the latest campaign finance reports filed with the state Friday.
Continuing his fundraising advantage, Bellone, the Babylon town supervisor, reported raising $161,000, and has $508,900 in the bank to run last-minute television, radio and mail ads before the Nov. 8 election. Topping his contributors for the period was the $12,000 given by the county police Superior Officers Association.
Carpenter, the county treasurer, raised $87,000 during the three-week period that began Oct. 8 and has $157,000 remaining in her two campaign accounts.
County Democratic chairman Richard Schaffer said, "It's clear that many people are excited by Steve's candidacy, while Angie's candidacy has completely fallen flat."
Carpenter spokesman Rob Ryan had a different take. "It's obvious that Steve Bellone is raising money from the special interests who want to see him in office," he said. "Angie Carpenter is running a grassroots campaign that speaks to the high taxes and runaway spending that's endemic in the county."
Carpenter was aided by $9,500 in donations from the Suffolk Association of Municipal Employees, the county's largest union. The union also recently sent out a mailing on Carpenter's behalf.
Not counted in the numbers, though, were several large donations to Bellone in the past couple of days, including a $5,000 contribution from Steven B. Tanger, president and chief executive of Tanger Outlets, and $2,500 from William P. Lauder, chairman of the board and executive chairman of The Estée Lauder Companies. Both head companies that are major employers in the county.
The Suffolk Republican Committee reported raising $36,750 in the past three weeks, compared with the $2,540 raised by the Suffolk Democratic Committee. Still, Democrats, by virtue of a large fundraising advantage throughout the election season, had almost 10 times as much money in the bank for the final stage of the campaigns than the county GOP. Democrats reported having $365,285 in cash compared with the $37,846 reported by Republicans.