Daily Freeman: Democrats in NY 19th Congressional District building campaign war chests in effort to unseat Rep. Faso

Posted on October 09, 2017 at 2:03 PM

From every corner of the district, people are fired up and demanding change. We need a representative with a proven record of serving country and community over self, party or special interests.

- Pat Ryan


The next election for the state’s 19th Congressional District seat is more than a year away, but Democrats hoping to oust Republican U.S. Rep. John Faso already have raised significant sums of money in the effort. 

Late last week, several of the candidates seeking the Democratic nomination issued press releases announcing their fundraising totals for the third quarter of 2017, which ended Sept. 30. Complete quarterly campaign finance filings, however, are not due to the Federal Election Commission until Saturday. 

So far, Antonio Delgado of Rhinebeck reported raising more than $400,000 in the third quarter, Pat Ryan of Gardiner said he raised more than $375,000, David Clegg of Woodstock said his campaign raised more than $220,000, and Gareth Rhodes of Kerhonkson said he raised about $165,000 from more than 600 donors. 

On Monday, Brian Flynn of Elka Park said in a press release that he had raised more than $1 million total as of the end of the third quarter and had more than $900,000 on hand.

Democrat Jeffrey Beals of Woodstock did not issue a press release, but the Federal Election Commission showed that as of Sept. 30, his campaign had raised $114,757.72. Of that, $56,000 was a loan from the candidate. The filing also showed Beals spent $32,389.83, leaving his campaign with $82,367.89 on hand.

Updated campaign fundraising information was not immediately available for Democrat Steven Brisee of Walden or for Faso, R-Kinderhook.

Democrat Sue Sullivan dropped out of the race late last month. 

The 19th Congressional District comprises all of Ulster, Greene, Columbia, Sullivan, Delaware, Schoharie and Otsego counties; most of Dutchess County; parts of Rensselaer and Montgomery counties; and a small piece of Broome County.

“The energy in the Hudson Valley and Catskills region is incredible,” Delgado said in a statement. “And it’s clear that people are ready to elect new leadership to Washington, D.C.”

He said he spent the summer traveling across the 19th District and heard similar stories of people who once had good middle-class jobs but lost ground when big employers like General Electric and IBM left the area. Delgado said people deserve opportunities to support themselves and live a secure, safe, healthy life.

Delgado said his campaign has raised more than $1 million since February.

Ryan said the $375,000 his campaign raised in the third quarter followed the $213,000 it raised in three weeks during the second quarter after he announced his candidacy.

“I grew up here, and my family has been here for generations, and we’ve never seen anything like the energy we’re seeing now,” Ryan said in a statement. “From every corner of the district, people are fired up and demanding change. We need a representative with a proven record of serving country and community over self, party or special interests.”

Ryan’s spokeswoman, Elsie Raymer, said Monday that the campaign had more than $520,000 on hand as of Sept. 30. She also said Ryan has not personally contributed to his campaign or taken out any loans to finance it. 

Clegg said that of the $220,000 he has raised, his campaign has about $180,000 on hand.  

“John Faso first voted to make health care unaffordable for more than 20 million Americans and now his party is trying to jam through tax cuts for the top 1 percent,” Clegg said in a statement. “It’s time we stood up for the little guy again and focus on growing our economy so that it works for everyone.” 

Rhodes said he has raised $300,000 from approximately 1,300 donors and his campaign has been gaining momentum all summer.  

“Our grassroots campaign is continuing to grow and hundreds of new donors have joined our ‘$19 for NY-19’ movement to hold Rep. Faso responsible for his votes to take health care away from tens of thousands of New Yorkers and for his failure to represent the needs of our community,” Rhodes said in a statement.

Dan Weiller, campaign spokesman for Rhodes, said Monday that full financial information, including Rhodes’ cash on hand and expenditures, would be online ahead of the Oct. 15 filing deadline. He said Rhodes has no outstanding loans or personal contributions to the campaign.

Flynn, who previously provided his campaign with a $500,000 personal loan, said the strength of his fundraising during the third quarter was driven by a surge of support from within the district. He said the campaign nearly doubled its total individual contributions from the second quarter.

Flynn said he spent the summer meeting with district residents and supporting the efforts of Democratic committees in every county regarding the upcoming local elections. 

“It’s exciting to see the level of interest and engagement in our local elections next month,” Flynn said in a statement. “We need to carry that energy into the new year and build upon our efforts to bring responsive and effective leadership back to the district.”

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