Democrat Jackie Gordon raised nearly $800,000 in the second quarter, bringing her campaign’s cash-on-hand to $1.13 million, more than 10 times that of Republican Assemb. Andrew Garbarino who has $104,100 in cash, according to new recent federal filings.
Gordon, a retired U.S. Army Reserve lieutenant colonel and former member of the Babylon Town Council, has support from national Democrats seeking to flip the long-held GOP seat when Rep. Peter King retires in November.
King (R-Seaford) is stepping down after nearly three decades representing the 2nd Congressional District, which includes parts of the towns of Hempstead, Oyster Bay, Babylon and Islip. King has endorsed Garbarino, who has served more than eight years in the Assembly’s Republican minority.
The race could be among the most competitive House contests in the nation and Gordon's war chest shows she is seriously committed, political experts say.
"If money is the mother's milk of politics, she's running a Dairy Barn," Desmond Ryan, a veteran Albany lobbyist and political commentator, said of Gordon.
"You will see national figures on both sides of the aisle — that's how competitive this open seat is going to be," Ryan said.
“I am proud to have the support of so many Long Islanders who are stepping up to contribute their time and hard-earned dollars to support our campaign,” Gordon said.
Garbarino spokesman Russ Schriefer said the campaign had to spend money to win a competitive Republican primary.
"That said, we are confident the campaign will be well-funded enough to win," Schriefer said. "Andrew’s base in the eastern part of the district combined with the powerful endorsement of Congressman King are resources that can’t be purchased."
In the 1st Congressional District, which encompasses most of central Suffolk County and the East End, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) has a wide fundraising lead, with more than $2.6 million in cash on hand. Zeldin raised $1.48 in the second quarter of this year, spending $625,929, according to his July 15 Federal Election Commission report.
Democratic challenger Nancy Goroff, a scientist and former chairwoman of the Stony Brook University chemistry department, ended the second quarter with $324,450 in cash on hand, after raising $1.55 million, including a $1 million loan, and spending $1.87 million, mostly before the Democratic Party primary, according to federal records.
Goroff, a first-time political candidate, won the primary on June 23.
Also, state campaign reports that were due July 15 showed Nassau County Executive Laura Curran raised $496,414 since January, although Curran said she had suspended fundraising because of the coronavirus pandemic. Curran, a Democrat who is up for reelection next year, reported a campaign war chest of $1.489million.
Among Curran's largest individual contributors were Home Depot Founder and CEO Kenneth Langone and James Hagedorn, CEO of Scott's Miracle-Gro. Both gave $25,000, according to filings.
Campaign spokesman Max Kramer said Curran "helped guide Nassau County through one of its greatest challenges. … The incredible show of support on this filing is just validation of that leadership."
OTHER LONG ISLAND HOUSE RACES
3rd District: Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) raised $225,101, ending the quarter with $1.9 million in cash. Republican George Anthony Devolder-Santos had $73,355 in cash.
4th District: Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) raised $697,717 and ended the quarter with $287,255 in cash on hand. Republican Douglas Tuman had $16,134 in cash.
5th District: Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-St. Albans) raised $1,494,399 and had $563,939 in cash.
Source: Federal Election Commission