Rep. Kathleen C. Hochul’s campaign for the 27th Congressional District took in more than twice as much in contributions as Republican challenger Chris Collins during July, August and September.
Hochul, D-Hamburg, also has outspent Collins but entered the final weeks of the election with significantly more cash available for her campaign to spend.
The latest campaign finance reports show that Hochul brought in $717,606 during those months, while Collins collected $321,881 in contributions and pumped $400,000 of his own money into the campaign.
The reports, a snapshot of campaign cash between July 1 and Sept. 30, do not account for nearly $3 million in outside money spent independently from the campaigns on the race. That money does not have to be reported to the Federal Election Commission. That outside money has favored Collins.
But when it comes to money the campaigns control, Hochul had a clear advantage at the end of September. Her campaign reported having $924,541 in hand, while Collins entered the final five weeks of the campaign with $166,771.
The Collins camp isn’t showing concern.
“If you look at the things that a campaign needs to do to be competitive, Chris has matched her in terms of getting his message out to media markets,” said Christopher M. Grant, a Collins adviser. “The campaign’s got a full-fledged ground operation that is second to none in the district that’s talking to voters. Chris is making sure that this money is invested in this campaign smartly, and Chris always makes sure that the vast amount of campaign resources go to direct voter contact.”
Grant, who said the campaign continues to aggressively raise funds as it enters the final weeks, noted that the latest campaign finance reports do not include a fundraiser held by House Speaker John A. Boehner in Clarence earlier this month for Collins.
“An overwhelming number of donations have come in, and an overwhelming amount of fundraising has been done,” Grant said.
The latest reports, which were due late Monday, show that Collins has relied heavily on his own money to run his campaign for Congress. During the three months between July and September, Collins lent his campaign $400,000 and raised $321,881. His campaign spent $626,320 during that time frame.
Hochul, meanwhile, raised $717,606 in contributions and spent $1.03 million during July, August and September.
The campaigns, of course, interpret the numbers differently.
“I think they show that Kathy has an incredibly broad base of support from thousands of people this quarter and more than 10,000 people since this campaign started, and that’s not the same for Chris Collins,” said Frank Thomas, campaign manager for Hochul. “He’s drawing his support from a very narrow group of people, mostly himself, and he’s supplemented that with more than $1 million in outside spending that has come in on his behalf.”
Grant, meanwhile, pointed to “special interest” donations that have been made to the Hochul campaign. A range of political action committees – from Comcast Corp. to Sallie Mae Inc. – have made donations to the Hochul campaign. Collins also has picked up donations from political action committees that range from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.