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Reports: Rep. Tim Bishop has more than double amount of cash on hand than challenger Lee Zeldin

Tim Bishop, Democratic incumbent candidate for US Congress

Tim Bishop, Democratic incumbent candidate for US Congress New York 1st District, poses for a portrait at his office on Monday, August 25, 2014. Lee Zeldin, current New York State Senator (3rd District) and GOP primary candidate for Congress 1st District, poses for a portrait at his campaign office on May 9, 2014. Photo Credit: James Escher

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) reported $1 million in cash for his campaign, more than twice the $404,168 his Republican challenger, Lee Zeldin, said he had, according to campaign finance reports filed Wednesday.

Zeldin, 34, a state senator from Shirley who depleted his funds in an expensive primary race, said he raised $659,455 and spent $391,645 from July through August.

Bishop, 64, who faced no primary challenge, said in his filing that he raised $700,000 and spent $815,249 in that period.

Their close race has drawn heavy spending by a half-dozen outside groups, including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee. So far, those groups have spent a total of $2.1 million to help Bishop and $2.6 million to aid Zeldin, filings show.

Overall, Bishop, Zeldin and the outside groups have already spent about $7.2 million, and they are poised to spend $9 million to $10 million by the time voters go to the polls in less than three weeks.

For voters on the East End, that means the political television ads, phone calls, postal mail, email and canvassers knocking on doors won't stop until Election Day on Nov. 4.

"We currently have two distinct TV ads running. They've been up since mid-August. We have been on radio since the beginning of October," said Bishop campaign spokesman Evan Lukaske. "The ads will be running through Election Day."

Zeldin now has one ad running, said his spokeswoman, Jennifer DiSiena. "We are releasing a new TV ad within the next few days," she said.

No outside money has come into the Long Island House race between Democrat Kathleen Rice, 49, of Garden City, and Republican Bruce Blakeman, 59, of Long Beach, who are running for the open seat left by retiring Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola).

Rice, the Nassau County district attorney, said she raised $1 million, spent $1.2 million and had $1.3 million in cash.

Blakeman, a former presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature, reported raising $197,903, spending $419,645 and having $387,508 in cash.

Blakeman also reported making a partial repayment to himself of $25,000 of the $700,000 he has loaned his campaign.

"He needed the cash available to buy an engagement ring for his fiancee," said his spokesman, Matt Coleman. "It's the only amount of money he is paying himself back."

Blakeman became engaged to attorney Segal Magori while on a trip to Israel in August.


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