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Cuomo leads Astorino in campaign cash

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, left, on

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, left, on Jan. 8, 2014 in Albany, and his Republican opponent Rob Astorino on March 7, 2014 in Albany. Credit: AP / Mike Groll

ALBANY -- Republican Rob Astorino had $1.2 million on hand for his campaign for governor as of Friday, while Democrat Andrew M. Cuomo reported $23.7 million, according to the latest campaign finance reports.

That leaves Astorino with what would traditionally be considered a small stack of cash for the rest of the campaign.

In the 2010 election, for example, Cuomo spent $28 million to win the governor's office, which included spending $8 million in the last two weeks.

In contrast, then-Republican nominee Carl Paladino of Buffalo spent $9.6 million during the campaign, most of it his own money.

Friday, Cuomo's campaign reported that it raised $1.1 million since the Sept. 9 primary election and spent $3.2 million, most of it on TV campaign ads.

Cuomo's campaign finances also cover his running mate, former Rep. Kathy Hochul of Buffalo, who is seeking to become lieutenant governor.

Astorino raised $2.4 million since July and spent $1.4 million.

The financial disclosure reports are required by election law 32 days before the general election.

In addition to the funding advantage, Cuomo also had a 29-point lead over Astorino in last week's Siena College Research Institute poll.

"Our campaign is a grassroots movement, and we are enormously proud that we have reached over 7,000 individual donors," said Astorino spokeswoman Jessica Proud.

"In Cuomo's New York, only the wealthy, well-connected few get ahead," she said.

Cuomo's campaign had no comment.

Many of the expenditures for Astorino and his running mate, Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss, were for gasoline as they crossed the state seeking support. They also spent more than $100,000 with a political consulting firm that produces lower-cost digital messages. Astorino has been unable to afford a major TV ad campaign.

In the fight for Senate control, the Senate Republican Campaign Committee had $2.8 million on hand as of Friday, after collecting $375,361 since July. The Democratic Senate Campaign Committee had $1,455,278 on hand after raising $408,031 over the last six months.

Senate Republican committees invested heavily in the campaigns of Tom Croci of Islip ($220,000), state Sen. Jack Martins of Mineola ($208,000) and Michael Venditto of Massapequa ($157,000) on Long Island, records show. Venditto received another $145,000 in transfers from the Nassau County GOP Committee.

On the other side, the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee spent $282,000 on behalf of Adam Haber of East Hills, who is challenging Martins. But it reported no spending on Adrienne Esposito, who is running against Croci for an open seat.

Esposito raised $10,864 in contributions over the last two weeks. Croci had yet to file as of late Friday afternoon.

With Yancey RoyThe reports also showed the state's experiment in public financing of campaigns, which is being tested in the state comptroller's race, is faltering.

Republican Bob Antonacci who is running for state comptroller, raised just about as much as he spent since July -- $102,000 -- and has $75,214 on hand for the rest of the campaign. He has collected a total of about $168,000 so far this year.

Under the law passed this year, Antonacci must raise $200,000 from 2,000 small donors to receive the state's 6:1 match of donations. Antonacci's campaign didn't return a request for comment.

Meanwhile, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli had $2.7 million on hand in July.

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