The campaign fundraising numbers are in for the third quarter, and some of the nation’s hottest and most expensive races are right here in New York.
The 2020 general election may be more than a year away, but candidates continue to rack up the campaign funds for primary challenges and to be prepared for a grueling 2020 general election year. Candidates in contested districts like New York’s 11th congressional district where incumbent U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D-South Brooklyn, Staten Island) hopes to hold off Republican challenger Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis are drawing attention with their fundraising numbers with plenty of money coming from out of state.
Rose rode into Congress in 2018 on the blue wave that flipped the House of Representatives to Democratic control, winning in a district that voted for President Donald J. Trump and former Republican Congressman Dan Donovan in 2016. The Republican party and Malliotakis, who unsuccessfully ran against Mayor Bill de Blasio in the 2017 election for mayor, think they can flip the 11th district back to red and get the Republicans one seat closer to regaining power in the House in 2020.
Malliotakis raised over $750,000 this year and over $200,000 in this quarter, according to Federal Election Commission filing receipt data. She still has over $600,000 cash on hand, but that total is dwarfed by Rose’s nearly $1.7 million cash on hand. Malliotakis should be able to keep most of the money for the general election because she does not currently face any serious primary threats, but Rose may have to spend some money fending off primary challengers like Richard-Olivier Marius if they gain any traction.
Rose raised over $730,000 this quarter mostly from political action committees and large donations from individuals, but the major Democratic organizations like the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, donated just shy of a paltry $200. The major Republican organizations are helping out Malliotakis much more, with over $11,000 raised this year coming from Republican committees.
Around the corner from Rose’s district is a district in southern Brooklyn that is Democratically safe but where incumbent U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Prospect Lefferts Gardens) finds herself surrounded by progressive primary opponents.
Thus far, Clarke far outpaces the field with over $220,000 of cash on hand. Challengers like veteran and Democratic socialist Isiah James and social justice advocate and lawyer Michael Hiller have not raised much money, but Adem Bunkeddeko, who narrowly lost to Clarke in the 2018 primary, has a respectable total of nearly $120,000 cash on hand.
Most of Clarke’s campaign funds have come from political action committees and other candidate committees. Unlike in the 11th congressional district race, these candidates will likely need most of their cash for the primaries.
After U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez upset powerful Democrat Joe Crowley in 2018, other establishment Democrats like Jerrold Nadler and Eliot Engel are less reluctant to take chances, although the incumbent in New York has historically won almost every time. Most of the House incumbents in New York already have primary opponents, and some of them have the backing of progressive groups like Justice Democrats or have raised impressive amounts of money for their campaigns.
Speaking of Ocasio-Cortez, she already raised almost $3.4 million for this cycle. She raised over $2.1 million for the entire 2018 election cycle. She doesn’t have support from the Democratic committees. MoveOn.org political action donated $2,000, but she otherwise gets most of her funds from small donations.
However, a closer look at her fundraising totals shows nearly $1.2 million came from out-of-state donors, $1,179,725 came from New York donors and $165,868 came from 824 New York donors giving $30 or less.
Ocasio-Cortez’s primary opponents so far include City Council Member Fernando Cabrera (D-Bronx) and Badrun Khan, daughter of Bangladeshi immigrants who is a community activist within the Bangladeshi community in Queens.
There are almost 10 people vying for the chance to be the Republican to take on Ocasio-Cortez in the general election for the very blue 14th congressional district of New York.