Queens Incumbents Outraise Opponents In Primary Races

Sen. Tony Avella

Queens lawmakers are financially prepared for their upcoming primaries, according to latest campaign disclosure reports.

For example, in Assembly District 30, State Assemblymember Brian Barnwell (D-Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City, Maspeth) is facing challenger Melissa Sklarz in his first re-election campaign.

Barnwell’s campaign recorded over $60,500 in their periodic report for the New York State Board of Elections. In contrast, Sklarz’s campaign reported less than half of that amount with $23,510 as of July 22nd.

However, Sklarz’s campaign raised far more from individual contributions with an estimated $80,000 from individuals that includes City Councilmember Daniel Dromm (D-East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights) and Sklarz herself. Barnwell raised about $13,000 that includes a $5,000 from him.

In the 39h Assembly District, State Assemblywoman Ari Espinal (D-East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Corona) is facing both Catalina Cruz and Yonel Letellier Sosa this year.

Espinal’s campaign reported over $100,000 after expenses in contrast to Cruz’s campaign that held $74,000. Sosa recorded the least out of the three with $1,313 remaining.

Among the contributions to Espinal’s re-election bid was a $10,000 donation from the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee. The DACC notes on its website that it does not receive public funds, but rather from “individuals and groups who support the Assembly’s Democratic majority.”

Cruz received contributions not just from district residents, but also former and current officials. A PAC associated with Councilmember Dromm donated $4,400 to Cruz’s campaign as well as similar amount from an organization tied to former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito.

While Sosa did raise about $3,000 from 26 individuals, the Elmhurst resident entered the race much later than Cruz or Espinal. The campaign did record a $200 donation from the East Elmhurst Corona Democrats.

Meanwhile, State Senator Tony Avella (D-College Point, Whitestone, Bayside, Flushing, Jamaica Estates, Fresh Meadows, Bellerose, Floral Park, Jamaica, Douglaston, Little Neck, Auburndale, Kissena Park, Briarwood) is facing a late challenge from former New York City Comptroller John Liu.

Avella’s campaign had one of, if not, the highest balance of lawmakers facing a challenge this September with a whopping $170,000. In contrast, John Liu’s campaign is yet to report their latest finances, presumably because of the late announcement of his run.

Just seven people contributed with Avella’s campaign with one person, Greater New York Hospital Association executive David Rich, donating $10,300 on April 30th.

Rich previously donated to other candidates that were part of the Independent Democratic Conference, a group of Democratic State Senators that worked with Republicans, like Avella.

The Democratic primary is set for Thursday, September 13.