ALBANY — Gov. Kathy Hochul’s campaign on Friday said that the Democrat has amassed $10 million since she assumed office in August after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo resigned amid accusations of sexual harassment.
Hochul’s campaign said the former lieutenant governor now has $11.1 million on hand for the 2022 race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination and for the general election. In all, the campaign said she has raised $12 million during the June-January cycle monitored by the state Board of Elections.
Hochul had set a goal of $10 million by the end of this year and $25 million by next summer.
By comparison, Cuomo had about $18 million in his campaign fund in July while in his third term and political observers considered that a significant war chest.
Hochul's fundraising impressed some political observers, and sent a message to her political rivals.
"Less than 3 months, $10 million?" said Hank Sheinkopf, a veteran political strategist. "Money allows you to be called smart and no easy pushover. She now looks politically competent, exactly what some of her possible and real opponents likely did not expect."
Sheinkopft said the message is: "Go ahead take me on. Beating me won’t be so simple and you might win, but you’ll be scarred when it’s over."
Hochul’s campaign didn’t release names of contributors or how the campaign is spending the money. Those details will be in the required campaign finance filings in January to the state Board of Elections.
Hochul’s campaign said she has received contributions from all 62 counties. She has also held Manhattan fundraisers where tickets have gone for as much as $25,000.
Hochul, 63, faces an expected Democratic primary in June against state Attorney General Letitia James, who has said she is running for governor. New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Rep. Tom Suozzi of Glen Cove also have been mentioned as possible candidates. Among Republicans running are Rep. Lee Zeldin of Shirley and former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. Other Republicans are considering a run.
Their campaign fundraising and spending records are also due to be released publicly in January.