GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks at a New Hampshire...

GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks at a New Hampshire primary night rally on Jan. 23. Haley, who placed second to Donald Trump in the primary, is still receiving support from some of New York's wealthiest campaign contributors. Credit: AP/Steven Senne

WASHINGTON — Nikki Haley’s long-shot bid to defeat Donald Trump in the Republican presidential primary is getting a financial boost from several of New York’s wealthiest campaign contributors as both step up efforts to court GOP megadonors.

Days after Haley placed second to Trump in the New Hampshire primary on Jan. 24, a group of Wall Street billionaires with ties to Long Island organized a Jan. 30 fundraiser in Manhattan that drew $1.5 million, according to her campaign. They included Home Depot founder Ken Langone, of Sands Point, venture capitalist Stanley Druckenmiller, real estate mogul Leonard N. Stern and investor Henry Kravis, who all own homes in Southampton.

Their decision to back Haley despite her losses in Iowa and New Hampshire underscores the reluctance of some previous Trump donors to endorse his third presidential bid despite his commanding lead in the polls.

Michael Dawidziak, a Bohemia-based Republican campaign strategist, said those backing Haley likely believe that with the primary race narrowed to two candidates, there is an opportunity for her to pick up support among moderates looking for an alternative to Trump.

“This race hasn’t even started yet,” Dawidziak told Newsday. “People were writing off John McCain in 2008 at this point, and he came back and got the nomination.”

Dawidziak, who worked on the late George H.W. Bush’s presidential campaign, said “there’s no downside” for Haley to stay through Super Tuesday on March 5, when more than a dozen states and territories will hold primaries.

“Some donors probably see it as a smart investment, especially if you feel like there's no upside going to Donald Trump,” he said.

Other prominent donors, such as Andy Sabin, chairman of East Hampton-based Sabin Metal Corp., say they’re waiting to see who Trump picks as his running mate.

Sabin, who supported Haley after his preferred candidate, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), bowed out of the primary field in November, told Newsday he’d reconsider supporting Trump financially if Scott was tapped as vice president.

“That would make me think about it, because then I see a forward path,” Sabin said. “[Scott] is a natural guy to be the next president, and he attracts more moderate voters, too.”

Sabin said while he will vote for Trump if he becomes the official nominee, he is reluctant to contribute, noting Trump has relied on campaign funds and money from affiliated super PACs to pay his defense attorneys.

Last year, Trump’s campaign and two political action committees supporting his candidacy — Save America PAC and Make America Great Again PAC — spent a combined $50 million in “legal consulting fees,” according to financial disclosures filed last month with the Federal Election Commission.

Trump has been fighting criminal charges in New York, Florida, Georgia and Washington, D.C., in addition to civil lawsuits in New York. On Thursday, his legal team argued before the U.S. Supreme Court against state attempts to toss him from the ballot over his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Justices took no action but appeared poised to keep him on the ballot.

“I can’t stomach giving money to lawyers,” Sabin said.

Sabin said he believes Haley should withdraw. “Had she won New Hampshire, she would have shown me that she has a slight chance to win South Carolina, so my opinion would have been different,” he said. 

Haley, who placed third in the Iowa caucuses and lost Tuesday’s Nevada primary, has vowed to stay in the race as it moves to her home state of South Carolina on Feb. 24.

Despite serving as governor there for six years before being appointed by Trump as U.N. ambassador, Haley continues to trail him in state polls. Trump holds an average 30-point lead in South Carolina polls conducted between Jan. 2 and Feb. 4, according to an analysis by the poll tracking website RealClear Politics.

“I’m not going anywhere,” Haley told supporters in California on Wednesday. “I’m willing to take the heat, I’m willing to take the bruises, I’m willing to do the fight and go through the pain — all I’m asking is that you stand here with me.”

Haley raised $1.7 million during a two-day swing through California. The California and New York fundraisers were among more than a dozen scheduled before the South Carolina primary.

Billionaire business owner John Catsimatidis, who hosts the conservative radio talk show "The Cats Roundtable" on WABC, a station he owns, said the decision to stick with Haley is personal for many.

“She's being funded by the people that hate Donald Trump,” Catsimatidis said. “There’s a lot of hate in this world. I don’t hate anybody.”

Asked if he planned to donate to Trump, Catsimatidis, who built his wealth by opening a chain of supermarkets in New York City, said: “If Biden is running against Trump, and I’m giving a billion dollars, I’m giving it to Trump.”

Trump’s campaign had $33 million in cash on hand entering the year, according to campaign finance reports filed with the FEC last month. Haley had $14.5 million.

While Trump has always embraced small-dollar donations that allow his campaign to tout grassroots support, he has increased efforts to court Wall Street’s donor class, inviting several to a reception at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, according to the New York Times. In late January, he also dispatched campaign officials to a meeting of the American Opportunity Alliance, a coalition of Republican megadonors who backed some of the previous primary challengers, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Trump has started attacking some would-be donors on social media, writing on Truth Social that those who supported Haley would be “permanently barred” from his MAGA movement.

“When I ran for Office and won, I noticed that the losing Candidate’s ‘Donors’ would immediately come to me, and want to ‘help out,’ Trump wrote the night of his New Hampshire victory. “This is standard in Politics, but no longer with me. Anybody that makes a ‘Contribution’ to [Haley], from this moment forth, will be permanently barred from the MAGA camp.”

Cliff Asness, one of the co-hosts of Haley’s Manhattan fundraiser, pushed back with his own post on the platform X.

“I contributed early and significantly to Nikki and thought I had done my job,” wrote Asness, co-founder of AQR Capital Management, a money management firm. “But if past contributions don’t qualify me for being ‘barred’ from his RINO [Republicans in name only] cult, I may have to contribute more now.”

WASHINGTON — Nikki Haley’s long-shot bid to defeat Donald Trump in the Republican presidential primary is getting a financial boost from several of New York’s wealthiest campaign contributors as both step up efforts to court GOP megadonors.

Days after Haley placed second to Trump in the New Hampshire primary on Jan. 24, a group of Wall Street billionaires with ties to Long Island organized a Jan. 30 fundraiser in Manhattan that drew $1.5 million, according to her campaign. They included Home Depot founder Ken Langone, of Sands Point, venture capitalist Stanley Druckenmiller, real estate mogul Leonard N. Stern and investor Henry Kravis, who all own homes in Southampton.

Their decision to back Haley despite her losses in Iowa and New Hampshire underscores the reluctance of some previous Trump donors to endorse his third presidential bid despite his commanding lead in the polls.

Michael Dawidziak, a Bohemia-based Republican campaign strategist, said those backing Haley likely believe that with the primary race narrowed to two candidates, there is an opportunity for her to pick up support among moderates looking for an alternative to Trump.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Some of New York's wealthiest campaign donors are still contributing to Nikki Haley’s bid to defeat Donald Trump in the Republican presidential primary.
  • Home Depot founder Ken Langone, of Sands Point, venture capitalist Stanley Druckenmiller, real estate mogul Leonard N. Stern and investor Henry Kravis, who all own homes in Southampton, helped organize a Manhattan fundraiser that drew $1.5 million, days after Haley placed second to Trump in the New Hampshire primary.
  • Donors and political analysts say it's too early in the race to turn to Trump.

“This race hasn’t even started yet,” Dawidziak told Newsday. “People were writing off John McCain in 2008 at this point, and he came back and got the nomination.”

Dawidziak, who worked on the late George H.W. Bush’s presidential campaign, said “there’s no downside” for Haley to stay through Super Tuesday on March 5, when more than a dozen states and territories will hold primaries.

“Some donors probably see it as a smart investment, especially if you feel like there's no upside going to Donald Trump,” he said.

Reasons for sticking

Other prominent donors, such as Andy Sabin, chairman of East Hampton-based Sabin Metal Corp., say they’re waiting to see who Trump picks as his running mate.

Sabin, who supported Haley after his preferred candidate, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), bowed out of the primary field in November, told Newsday he’d reconsider supporting Trump financially if Scott was tapped as vice president.

“That would make me think about it, because then I see a forward path,” Sabin said. “[Scott] is a natural guy to be the next president, and he attracts more moderate voters, too.”

Sabin said while he will vote for Trump if he becomes the official nominee, he is reluctant to contribute, noting Trump has relied on campaign funds and money from affiliated super PACs to pay his defense attorneys.

Last year, Trump’s campaign and two political action committees supporting his candidacy — Save America PAC and Make America Great Again PAC — spent a combined $50 million in “legal consulting fees,” according to financial disclosures filed last month with the Federal Election Commission.

Trump has been fighting criminal charges in New York, Florida, Georgia and Washington, D.C., in addition to civil lawsuits in New York. On Thursday, his legal team argued before the U.S. Supreme Court against state attempts to toss him from the ballot over his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Justices took no action but appeared poised to keep him on the ballot.

“I can’t stomach giving money to lawyers,” Sabin said.

Sabin said he believes Haley should withdraw. “Had she won New Hampshire, she would have shown me that she has a slight chance to win South Carolina, so my opinion would have been different,” he said. 

Haley, who placed third in the Iowa caucuses and lost Tuesday’s Nevada primary, has vowed to stay in the race as it moves to her home state of South Carolina on Feb. 24.

Despite serving as governor there for six years before being appointed by Trump as U.N. ambassador, Haley continues to trail him in state polls. Trump holds an average 30-point lead in South Carolina polls conducted between Jan. 2 and Feb. 4, according to an analysis by the poll tracking website RealClear Politics.

“I’m not going anywhere,” Haley told supporters in California on Wednesday. “I’m willing to take the heat, I’m willing to take the bruises, I’m willing to do the fight and go through the pain — all I’m asking is that you stand here with me.”

Haley raised $1.7 million during a two-day swing through California. The California and New York fundraisers were among more than a dozen scheduled before the South Carolina primary.

Billionaire business owner John Catsimatidis, who hosts the conservative radio talk show "The Cats Roundtable" on WABC, a station he owns, said the decision to stick with Haley is personal for many.

“She's being funded by the people that hate Donald Trump,” Catsimatidis said. “There’s a lot of hate in this world. I don’t hate anybody.”

Asked if he planned to donate to Trump, Catsimatidis, who built his wealth by opening a chain of supermarkets in New York City, said: “If Biden is running against Trump, and I’m giving a billion dollars, I’m giving it to Trump.”

Trump courting some, attacking others

Trump’s campaign had $33 million in cash on hand entering the year, according to campaign finance reports filed with the FEC last month. Haley had $14.5 million.

While Trump has always embraced small-dollar donations that allow his campaign to tout grassroots support, he has increased efforts to court Wall Street’s donor class, inviting several to a reception at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, according to the New York Times. In late January, he also dispatched campaign officials to a meeting of the American Opportunity Alliance, a coalition of Republican megadonors who backed some of the previous primary challengers, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Trump has started attacking some would-be donors on social media, writing on Truth Social that those who supported Haley would be “permanently barred” from his MAGA movement.

“When I ran for Office and won, I noticed that the losing Candidate’s ‘Donors’ would immediately come to me, and want to ‘help out,’ Trump wrote the night of his New Hampshire victory. “This is standard in Politics, but no longer with me. Anybody that makes a ‘Contribution’ to [Haley], from this moment forth, will be permanently barred from the MAGA camp.”

Cliff Asness, one of the co-hosts of Haley’s Manhattan fundraiser, pushed back with his own post on the platform X.

“I contributed early and significantly to Nikki and thought I had done my job,” wrote Asness, co-founder of AQR Capital Management, a money management firm. “But if past contributions don’t qualify me for being ‘barred’ from his RINO [Republicans in name only] cult, I may have to contribute more now.”

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Mama Chan's opens … Clean drinking water … Spring TV preview Credit: Newsday

Body parts found in Babylon ... Mama Chan's opens ... Clean drinking water ... What's Up on LI

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