New fundraising numbers show Gov. Kathy Hochul fundraising at a clip that puts her millions ahead of Rep. Lee Zeldin, while the Shirley Republican is still in the process of pushing out other contenders for the GOP nomination. All of which means Zeldin surely wouldn’t mind some outside firepower for his cause.
Perhaps that’s one reason for the chatter about prospective super PACs, singular or plural, which might someday come together behind Zeldin.
One of them is focused on national and state donors who have a goal of $20 million by primary day, according to Suffolk GOP chairman Jesse Garcia.
This group, which had not filed paperwork as of early this week, has pledges of seed money for about a million dollars, Garcia said. "This is a show of strength" for Zeldin's candidacy, Garcia said.
Separately, there’s an attempt by political consultant and former Zeldin campaign manager Chapin Fay to gin up interest and funding for a "New Yorkers for LEEdership" state super PAC. It would be "hyper-focused on running a NYC voter contact program in areas and demographics the campaign will need, but likely ignore," according to a draft deck for the entity shared with The Point.
The pitch deck proposes a fundraising goal of $10 million and begins bluntly with the observation that there is "no path to victory that does not include increasing the vote total in New York City."
The super PAC suggests attacking this problem with NYC messaging "focused on shared values within different demographics." That would include "education messaging targeted to Asian communities" and "faith, family and freedom targeted to Hispanic and Eastern European communities."
This strategy gained attention after some members of those communities aided the mayoral victory of Eric Adams, one of the Democratic field’s more moderate candidates last year. It is also the same demographic that Hochul’s Democratic rival, Tom Suozzi, is looking to for a primary upset of Hochul.
The draft document further outlines the challenges of a Republican candidate who "will need to either ensure there is no primary, or win one. Either requires conservative messaging that will repel the coalition of Blanks and Democrats in New York City needed to win a general election against the incumbent Governor (or any other eventual Democrat nominee)."
Asked about potential help from outside entities, Zeldin campaign spokeswoman Katie Vincentz said the campaign looks forward to people from "all walks of life … continuing to do everything they can to support this mission."
Like the other super PAC, the state group is still fairly up in the air. Fay told The Point Tuesday that he was close to the first big commitment but not in the door yet.
Still, political junkies can expect to hear more about possible efforts like this. Asked about why the potential super PAC news was being floated now, Garcia gave a simple 2022 answer: "Because we’re in cycle."