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Steve Bellone has $2M on hand for Suffolk county executive bid

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone on July 1.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone on July 1. Photo Credit: James Carbone

Democratic Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is armed with $2,019,571 in his bid for a third term, while his GOP challenger, county Comptroller John Kennedy, has $204,956 heading into the November election.

Bellone has raised $475,127 since his Jan. 15 campaign filing, and spent $498,760 since then, according to new campaign disclosures that were due July 15.

Kennedy’s campaign filings show he has raised $301,384 in all — $206,956 of it in the last six months. He has spent $91,344 since January.

Deputy County Executive Jon Kaiman said, “even though the county executive's opponent is clearly having a hard time finding support, we still take this campaign very seriously and will make sure we share Steve Bellone’s strong record of government reform with the people of Suffolk.”

Kennedy said despite the fundraising gap, he is in a “better position” than when he defeated Democrat James Gaughran, now a state senator, when Kennedy he first ran for comptroller in 2015.

“I’ve gotten outspent every time by the other side, but we have the message, momentum and voters on our side,” Kennedy said.

In Nassau’s headline contest, Democratic District Attorney Madeline Singas reported $1,122,969 cash on hand in her bid for a second term. Singas reported raising $318,000 in the past six months.

Singas's Republican opponent, attorney Frank McQuade, has $6,799 in cash on hand and has raised $20,244 since January, according to his new report.

“I don’t minimize the fact that she [Singas] has over a million dollars, but I believe the county [GOP] organization will supply me with enough … to keep the race competitive,” McQuade said.

The Nassau County Republican Committee raised $1,556,904.18 over the past six months and had $926,407 in cash on hand. The Nassau Democratic Committee raised $735,897 during the period and had $532,165.53 in cash on hand.

In the Suffolk County executive's race, Kennedy’s biggest donor was the state Republican Committee which transferred $15,000 to his campaign account. Keith Wofford, last year’s GOP’s state attorney general candidate, gave $6,000 to Kennedy's campaign and former state GOP Chairman Edward Cox gave $2,500.

Kennedy also received $10,000 from the Masons District Council of Greater New York PAC; $6,000 from the International Union of Operating Engineers; and $3,000 from the Suffolk Police Benevolent Association.

Kennedy's largest business donor was Steven Hill, CEO of Just Kids Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Middle Island, who contributed $6,500. Magniflood Inc., of North Amityville, a lighting manufacturer, gave $5,000.

Kennedy’s largest single expenditure was $26,000 for a poll done by McLaughlin Associates. His campaign also spent about $32,000 for expenses connected to various fundraisers, and $10,500 to pay for campaign manager Dean Murray since April.

Bellone had a longer list of big givers who contributed $10,000 each. They included SEIU Local 1199, which represents county health center workers; the law firm of Harris Beach, Suffolk County’s bond counsel; the Suffolk PBA PAC; and the Suffolk Superior Officers Association.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, a Democrat, also gave $10,000 from her campaign fund.

Bellone also got $7,500 from Leonard Lauder, of the cosmetics family, $5,000 from grocery magnate John Catsimatidis and $13,200 in in-kind contributions from Russ Cassata of Deer Park for housing campaign staff.

Significant expenses included $91,000 to North Shore Strategies for canvassing and independent nominating petitions; $60,000 to Tucker Green for consulting services; $23,507 to Kaiman for outside consulting work; and $17,500 to the campaign of Tara Scully, who ran unsuccessfully for county Surrogate judge last year.

New campaign reports also show the Suffolk County Democratic Committee reported $365,676 in its coffers.

The Suffolk County GOP, under new chairman Jesse Garcia, raised $174,510. Garcia found party coffers bare after taking over in April from former party Chairman John Jay LaValle.

After $18,220 in expenses, the Suffolk GOP has $156,289 on hand, according to new campaign filings. Among the county party’s largest donors were the state Republican Committee and Catsimatidis; each gave the local party $25,000.

The Suffolk Association of Municipal Employees, the county's largest public employee union, gave $10,000.

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