Congressional hopeful Liuba Grechen Shirley raised twice as much money as Suffolk Legislative leader DuWayne Gregory in the first quarter of the year as the two Democrats battle in the 2nd Congressional District for the chance to face Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), according to federal campaign filings released Monday.
In the five-way Democratic primary in the First District to challenge Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), East Hampton businessman Perry Gershon lent his campaign another $200,000, on top of $400,000 in loans last year, and contributed $84,864 of his own money directly to his campaign. Gershon had $1,063,281 cash on hand as of March 31.
Zeldin had $1.5 million cash on hand after raising $471,025 and spending $255,475, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission.
Grechen Shirley, 36, a progressive activist from Amityville, raised $199,824 and spent $107,685 in the first quarter, and had $200,169 cash on hand, according to her filing.
“Liuba Grechen Shirley is the strongest candidate to unseat Peter King — and that’s why more than 1,600 grass roots donors are rallying around her campaign to pass Medicare for All, fight for working families, and stand up to Donald Trump,” campaign manager Anna Brichacek said in a statement.
Gregory, 49, of Copiague, raised “nearly $100,000,” and had $60,000 cash on hand, according to his campaign spokeswoman, Daniele de Groot. His filing posted on the FEC website late Monday showed he had raised $91,869 and he had $59,143 cash on hand. The reports were due at midnight Sunday.
“Long Islanders are looking for an experienced leader to bring change to Washington, and the campaign will continue to build on this strong filing and its diverse coalition of support from elected officials, labor unions, and community groups,” de Groot said of Gregory, presiding officer of the Suffolk County Legislature.
King raised $247,351, spent $67,561 and has $2.94 million in the bank, according to his filing.
“I’m raising what I have to raise. I’ll be very well-positioned for the election,” King said. “They’re in a primary killing each other — they’ll need all the money they can get,” he said of Grechen Shirley and Gregory.
In the First District, former Suffolk Legis. Kate Browning, of Shirley, raised $204,544, spent $89,751 and had $257,114 cash on hand.
“Our campaign continues to build a broad coalition of grass-roots supporters, unions and elected officials who believe my blue collar background and experience winning tough elections in a highly Republican district makes me the best candidate to beat Lee Zeldin,” she said in a statement.
Gershon raised $115,941 from individual contributors through March 31, and had $1,063,281 cash on hand.
“I’m prepared to fund my campaign as necessary with the focus to beat Lee Zeldin,” said Gershon, who changed his voter registration from Manhattan last year.
Also in the First District Democratic race, former Suffolk Legis. Vivian Viloria-Fisher of Setauket raised $19,827, spent $19,893 and has $61,592 cash on hand; David Pechefsky, who is on leave from his job at an educational nonprofit, raised $32,025, spent $65,861 and has $141,637; and former Brookhaven National Lab scientist Elaine DiMasi raised $13,819, spent $15,673 and has $14,556 cash on hand, according to their FEC reports.
Zeldin said in a statement: “I am grateful for the amazing outpouring of continued support, and this unmatched momentum further underscores the shared vision and overwhelming passion so many have in pursuing a better path forward for our great country.”
Brandon Henry, a bartender from Center Moriches, did not file signatures with the Suffolk Board of Elections and said in an email he was suspending his campaign.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated the age and home community of Democratic congressional candidate Liuba Grechen Shirley.
OTHER LONG ISLAND HOUSE RACES
Tom Suozzi (D):
Cash on Hand: $1.4 million
Dan DeBono (R):
Cash on Hand: $118,575
Kathleen Rice (D)
Cash on Hand: $734,321
Republican attorney Ameer Benno, of Bellmore has filed to run against Rice, but said he has just begun to fundraise.
Gregory Meeks (D)
Cash on Hand: 122,822
Carl Achille (D)
Cash on Hand: $3,569