Analysis: Political campaign donations fall short in county

Editor’s Note: A followup story on federal races will be posted later this week.

Those interested in statewide politics in Chautauqua County haven’t been moved to donate much yet, according to the latest campaign finance information released by the state Board of Elections.

Millions of dollars have poured into candidates’ campaign bank accounts – less than $10,000 of which has come from the newspaper’s readership area according to an analysis of campaign finance records on the state Board of Elections website.

Local money has tended to flow to either local races for Sheriff and state Assembly or into the race for the 23rd Congressional District seat. The state Assembly race between incumbent Andrew Goodell and challenger Judith Einach has generated $5,000 locally for the Einach campaign through the end of the 2018 July periodic reporting period. Goodell received no local contributions during the reporting period, but extending the search into the January periodic report shows $7,325 in local contributions.The Einach campaign has $4,056 in its account through the end of the July reporting period while Goodell has $64,279.16.

State Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, is running unopposed for re-election. Still, she has generated $1,000 in corporate donations from Chautauqua County, $1,000 in other monetary donations from Chautauqua County and $1,529 in individual donations from county residents. In total, Young generated $52,649 during the July reporting period and spent $41,154, closing the cycle with $679,685.91 on hand.

James Quattrone, the Republican Party candidate for Chautauqua County Sheriff, has thus far raised $12,568, with $7,905 coming from local individuals, businesses or committees. The Friends of Joe Gerace committee has reported no activity since 2016, when the campaign had $1,731.39 on hand.


Gov. Andrew Cuomo has more than $31 million available to spend on the campaign. The campaign opened the latest reporting period with $30,471,779 in hand, raised $6,027,973.32 and spent $5,376,767.66. He has recieved 1,493 individual donations totaling $2,692,024.33. None of the donations covered in the July periodic filing came from Chautauqua County Two of the donations are a pair of $50,000 donations from Tyler Winklevoss and Cameron Winklevoss, internet entrepreneurs known for earning a $65 million settlement after suing Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder, claiming Zuckerberg stole the idea to create the social network. The governor received another $501,111 in corporate donations, with none coming from Chautauqua County. Another $2,494,675 rolled into the governor’s campaign coffers classified as other monetary donations from organizations like Fox Television Stations LLC in Los Angeles ($20,000) and $25,000 from Saratoga Casino Holdings Inc. None of the other monetary donations came from Chautauqua County. Likewise, none of the $4,681,670.95 spent by the governor’s campaign during the July periodic reporting period was spent in Chautauqua County.

Cynthia Nixon, the former Sex and the City star who is challenging Cuomo in a primary for the Democratic Party’s nomination, opened the cycle with $431,600, raised an additional $500,186.01 and spent $274,348.11, ending the reporting period with $657,438.71 available. Nixon has bragged of her ability to raise donations from individuals; $498,186.01 of the donations she garnered are from individuals in a report that spans 640 pages in the state Board of Elections campaign finance records. Small donations have been received both within New York state and as far away as Oregon and California. She received one donation from a donor in Cold Spring; a $1.50 donation from a Jamestown resident, a $25 donation from another Jamestown resident, a pair of $10 donations from two Fredonia residents. Nixon’s campaign has no listed corporate donors.

Marc Molinaro, the Republican candidate for governor, entered the July periodic reporting period with $100 in its campaign bank account and raised $1,138,475.23 and spent $251,336.72 for an ending balance of $887,238.51. Molinaro has received a $25 donation from a Dunkirk resident and a $100 donation from another Dunkirk resident as part of the 1,223 individual donations, totaling $622,747, the campaign has received. None of the 58 corporate donations totaling $65,925 have come from Chautauqua County. The campaign has yet to spend money locally.

Larry Sharpe, the Libertarian Party candidate, has a $100 donation from a Kennedy resident while Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins has received no local contributions.



While money has flowed into the race for attorney general, neither of the Democratic Party candidates – Leecia Eve or Zephyr Teachout – nor Keith Wofford, the endorsed Republican Party candidate, have received an individual donation from Chautauqua County. Eve has $250,719 on hand while Teachout has $314,058.55 on hand. Wofford has $1,023,847.76 available through the end of the July periodic reporting period.

Candidates for comptroller, similarly, have no donors from Chautauqua County. DiNapoli 2018 Inc., working on behalf of incumbent Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, has $2,572,337.95 on hand while Trichter for New York, working on behalf of Jonathan Trichter, has $137,817.16.