When it comes to fundraising, New York Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Cuomo doesn’t have much to fear from the Republican party-backed Rick Lazio. And tea-party favorite Carl Paladino? He’s something of a wild card.
In the first six months of the year, state Attorney General Cuomo raised $9.2 million, and has a whopping $23.6 million in cash on hand. Lazio managed just $1.6 million in fundraising, and has less than $700,000 in the bank.
Paladino, a wealthy businessman who’s gotten into some trouble for sending racist emails, reported raising $1.7 million — though $1.6 million of it was from his personal funds. He’s pledged that he’ll spend at least $10 million of his own money on the race.
Cuomo explained last week that:
One of the opponents is a multi-millionaire who has said he can put his hand in his own pocket and spend millions of dollars. And if you don’t have the money to run a campaign you’re not competitive. And I don’t want to lose the campaign because I’m not competitive, so I had to raise the money.
Last week, Paladino filed to force a primary against Lazio with 28,000 signatures, more than double the required number.
Lazio himself has proven underwhelming when it comes to fundraising, with only $688,000 in the bank. Part of this might be do to party in-fighting leading up to the convention last month. Some Republican donors are even giving money to Cuomo, according to the New York Times, “including Dennis C. Vacco, a former Republican attorney general who is now a lobbyist, who donated $1,000, and J. Patrick Barrett, the former state Republican chairman, who donated $15,000.”
Whatever the cause, Lazio has resorted to lending his campaign $200,000, but his spokesman told the Times that Team Lazio’s not worried:
Following Rick’s commanding reception at the state convention, we had a dramatic increase in fund-raising, which brings our total amount raised to well over $3 million. Seventy percent of the contributors have come in the last six months. We expect our fund-raising pace to continue to increase.