Republican U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik has nearly $1.6 million cash on hand for her re-election campaign — 17 times what Democratic challenger Tedra Cobb has in the bank at this point.
Stefanik, R-Willsboro, had $1,558,389 compared with $93,048 for Cobb, according to the July 15 campaign finance report filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Cobb, of Canton, secured the Democratic nomination after capturing 56 percent of the vote in the June 26 primary.
Stefanik, who is seeking her third two-year term in November, collected $324,457 in donations in the second quarter.
A news release issued by the campaign, however, said Stefanik raised more than $536,000 in donations from all 12 counties within the NY-21 Congressional District during that time frame.
Spokesman Lenny Alcivar did not immediately return an email seeking comment about the discrepancy.
More than three-quarters of the contributions were from outside the NY-21 Congressional District, according to an analysis by The Post-Star. Of those donations from outside the district, nearly 86 percent of them were for more than $200. Stefanik also received $121,000 from political action committees that represent a variety of interests, including the financial, energy and health sectors. Financial backers include Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase. Health care PACs include MVP Health Care and Physical Therapy PAC. Energy PACs include American Wind Energy Association and the Environmental Defense Fund Renewable Energy PAC.
Other backers include the Home Depot, the National Milk Producers Association and the National Roofing Contractors Association.
Stefanik said she is grateful for the support for her campaign.
“These contributions reflect my independent record of always putting the North Country first, and of reaching across the aisle to represent hard-working taxpayers in Washington,” she said in a news release.
By contrast, more than 80 percent of Cobb’s donations are from within the district and about 77 percent of those are for $200 or less.
Cobb is not accepting corporate PAC money. She is one of five candidates endorsed by End Citizens United for their pledge not to take money from these PACs.
“Americans are fed up with Washington ignoring their voices while mega-donors and corporations call the shots,” said End Citizens United President Tiffany Muller in a news release on Monday. “By rejecting corporate PAC money, these candidates are proving to voters that they’re listening and they’re accountable to them — not corporate special interests. We’re proud to endorse these candidates and look forward to helping them win in November.”
Cobb accepted $5,000 from the Off the Sidelines PAC, which was started by U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., to encourage more women to run for elected office.
Cobb also took contributions from other political campaigns. She collected two $1,000 contributions from Democratic U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko’s campaign and $1,000 from Grace for New York, which is the campaign for Grace Meng, who is running for Congress in Queens.
Cobb also took $2,000 from former U.S. Rep. Bill Owens’ campaign and $1,500 from Friends of Sara Idelman. The Greenwich supervisor made a bid for the NY-21 Democratic nomination before ending her campaign in March.
Cobb spent about $122,000 in this quarter as the primary campaign for the nomination intensified. This included $95,000 for media production.
Stefanik did not have a primary challenger and spent only $60,000 in the second quarter.
Cobb’s campaign issued a statement late Monday afternoon that she is standing up for local citizens and not special interests.
“Elise Stefanik has made too many mistakes. Stefanik chose to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act ... , a vote that would have closed rural hospitals, clinics and nursing homes had it not failed in the Senate. That was a choice against North Country families in favor of drug companies, insurance companies and other special interests,” she said. “I oppose those special interests. Voters have a choice and they should know who Stefanik really represents in Washington, because it’s not us.”
Cobb’s campaign also cited a review of Stefanik’s donations from the Center for Responsive Politics. Stefanik has received 52 percent of her contributions from PACs to date during this 2017-18 election cycle. Also, 11 percent of the congresswoman’s money came from people who live in the NY-21 congressional district and only 49 percent of her money came from people who live in New York state.
Among Stefanik’s major donors this total election cycle to date were $157,250 from the financial industry, $110,500 from politicians’ PACs; $69,000 from insurance companies and $58,000 from lobbyists, according to the center.
Green Party candidate Lynn Kahn did not file a report with the FEC.
Candidates do not have to file reports until they have received at least $50,000 worth of contributions or made $50,000 worth of expenditures, according to the FEC website.