WASHINGTON — In Long Island’s two most competitive House races this year, Republicans Rep. Lee Zeldin and State Sen. Jack Martins are beginning the general-election campaign with a significant cash advantage over their Democratic rivals, campaign finance reports filed Friday show.
Zeldin, a first-term congressman from Shirley, and Martins of Old Westbury had the luxury of building up their campaign chests because they had no primary challengers, unlike their respective Democratic opponents, Anna Throne-Holst and Thomas Suozzi, who both faced tough races.
The candidates will need large sums of money to ensure their campaign pitches are not drowned out by outside groups, which already say they’ll spend more than a million dollars in Zeldin’s 1st District in Suffolk County and for the open seat in the 3rd District that spans Nassau, Queens and Suffolk counties.
Zeldin reported to the Federal Election Commission he has nearly $2 million in the bank for his re-election bid, four times as much as Throne-Holst, whose filing said she has $502,110 on hand after spending about $1.5 million to win the June 28 primary against venture capitalist David Calone.
“Zeldin will have the resources necessary to remind the voters of all the congressman has achieved within his first 18 months of office,” said campaign spokeswoman Sarah Frank.
Throne-Holst raised $526,404, nearly matching Zeldin’s $568,436 in the second quarter, from April through June. “I am pleased that so many individuals throughout Suffolk County are supporting this campaign,” she said.
Martins said he had $409,995 in cash, or more than twice as much as Suozzi, who said he had $162,064 left over after he spent $694,158 to win a five-way Democratic primary in his bid to replace retiring Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington).
“Jack Martins is in great shape to reach out to independents, Democrats and Republicans across the district. Having more than twice as much cash on hand than our opponent makes us that much stronger,” said spokesman O’Brien Murray.
Suozzi noted he raised $404,915 to Martins’ $243,028 in the second quarter. “Even with a competitive primary, voters recognized my proven record of fighting powerful interests and standing up to the status quo to get things done here,” Suozzi said.
Meanwhile, in the 2nd District, Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) reported he had $3 million in cash on hand after raising $182,918. His Democratic challenger, DuWayne Gregory, presiding officer of the Suffolk County Legislature, said he raised $54,087 and had $65,698 in the bank.
And in the 4th District, Republican businessman David Gurfein reported he had $187,358 in the bank and that he raised $83,349 in his bid to unseat Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City). Rice had not filed her reports by early evening Friday.