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Murray collects $643,000 for Nassau DA's race

Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray at the

Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter on Friday, May 15, 2015, in Wantagh. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray has collected $643,000 since January in her bid for Nassau district attorney, with nearly half the total coming from her town campaign fund, according to new campaign finance records.

Total receipts for Friends for Kate Murray include $353,000 raised from Jan. 12 to July 11, and $290,000 the Republican transferred from her town campaign, state Board of Elections reports show.

Acting District Attorney Madeline Singas, a Democrat seeking a full term in November, raised $679,836 in the period. Since establishing her account in December, Singas has brought in about $1.1 million.

The campaign filings, which were due Wednesday, showed Singas with $796,754 in cash on hand and Murray with $538,188.

Murray's campaign began fundraising in mid-January, but she did not declare her candidacy until May.

Michael Scotto, a former Manhattan prosecutor seeking to challenge Singas in the Democratic primary in September, raised $109,925 during the period and had $1,369 in cash.

Bill Corbett, a Murray campaign spokesman, called Murray's total "impressive," noting that her largest fundraiser yet was held Wednesday, after the reporting period had closed.

"The campaign is going strong, and last night more than 500 enthusiastic supporters from across Nassau County attended her fundraiser," said Corbett, who did not disclose the amount raised.

Singas said her fundraising showed voters "want a prosecutor with extensive courtroom experience for district attorney, not a career politician."

Scotto's largest donation, $10,000, came from Andrew Jarecki, director of "Capturing the Friedmans," a documentary that questioned the 1988 child sex abuse conviction of former Great Neck resident Jesse Friedman. Singas, as a top aide to former District Attorney Kathleen Rice, led the review in 2013 that found Friedman's conviction justified.

A judge has granted Friedman an innocence claim hearing.

"I think Mr. Jarecki, like many who have given to me, thinks the DA's office needs to change," Scotto said. Jarecki couldn't be reached for comment.

Singas' top donors were real estate developer Scott Rechler, CEO of Uniondale-based RXR Realty, and his wife, Deborah, who gave a combined $25,000.

Murray's largest donation was $10,000 from Morton S. Bouchard, president and CEO of Melville-based Bouchard Transportation, an oil barging company. She also received about $50,000 from local Republican clubs and candidates.

The total included $10,000 each from the Garden City Republican Club and the East Rockaway Republican Committee, which is led by Hempstead Town Councilman Anthony Santino, who is running this fall to succeed Murray as Hempstead supervisor. Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, a Republican who is not up for re-election until 2017, raised nearly $724,000 and spent almost $285,000 during the filing period, and has $1.44 million on hand, said county spokesman Brian Nevin.

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