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Demos has finance edge over Zeldin; Rice holds $1.47M in bank

(L-R) New York State Senator Lee Zeldin and

(L-R) New York State Senator Lee Zeldin and GOP primary candidate for U.S. Congressman George Demos. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan, James Escher

WASHINGTON -- George Demos has outspent Lee Zeldin 2-1 since March and had twice as much money on hand in their heated Republican primary campaign to face Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) in November, campaign finance filings show.

Meanwhile, in the scramble to fill the seat of retiring Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola), Kathleen Rice has a significant funding edge over Kevan Abrahams in the Democratic race, while Bruce Blakeman leads Frank Scaturro in funding and spending in the GOP race.

But after Tuesday's upset of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) by challenger David Brat, despite outspending him $5 million to $122,800, contenders in Long Island's races say they're focusing on meeting voters and getting them to the polls.

The primaries will be held June 24. The preprimary campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission Thursday cover the period of April 1 to June 4.

In the GOP primary on the East End, Zeldin conceded he'll be outspent by Demos, who married into a wealthy family and loaned his campaign $2 million.

So he's knocking on doors.

Zeldin said, "There is nothing that replaces the positive benefits of just showing up at someone's front doorstep."

Demos aide Kevin Tschirhart said his candidate is doing the same, and added, "Establishment politicians like Eric Cantor and Lee Zeldin will be defeated by the grassroot voters."

Demos spent $945,028 since March and $1.9 million overall, much of it on TV ads. He had $383,789 in cash. Zeldin spent $392,557 since March and $584,983 overall and had $149,610 in cash.

Zeldin said he's set a goal of raising $100,000 for the primary today from a luncheon in Quiogue featuring Cantor, who may have lost his race but still has ties to Wall Street donors.

In the primary contests for McCarthy's seat, Democrats have raised the most money.

Rice, of Garden City, the Nassau County district attorney, spent $470,470 since March and $640,050 overall. She had $1.47 million in the bank.

Abrahams, of Freeport, the Nassau County Legislature's minority leader, spent $109,912 and had $49,997 in cash. Abrahams volunteers have been knocking on voters' doors since May, much longer than Rice's, an Abrahams campaign aide said. Rice's single biggest expenditure was on her ground game.

On the Republican side, Blakeman, a Long Beach businessman, spent $160,033 since March and has $242,756 in cash; Scaturro, a New Hyde Park attorney, spent $65,098 and had $77,528 in cash.

In the Republican primary to face Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington), Mineola attorney Grant Lally spent $18,133 and had $28,321 in cash, while his rival, Stephen Labate, a Deer Park financial planner, spent $55,673 and had $5,635 in cash.

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