As Dan Goldman, lead counsel in former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial, celebrated raising $1.2 million over the past month in his bid to represent the newly-redrawn 10th Congressional District Tuesday, his opponents’ campaigns say they don’t think those dollars necessarily make him a shoo-in for the August 23 primary.
In a release, Goldman’s campaign said the impressive haul, first reported by City & State Tuesday, makes him a clear “frontrunner” in a field that includes several big-name contenders like ex-Mayor Bill de Blasio, U.S. Rep. Mondaire Jones (D–Rockland, Westchester Counties), Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou (D–Manhattan), City Council Member Carlina Rivera (D–Manhattan) and former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman.
“In the month since launching my campaign for Congress, we’ve witnessed groundbreaking testimony from the January 6 Committee hearings, as well as the stolen Supreme Court rip away our fundamental rights and New York’s ability to keep its citizens safe from guns,” Goldman said. “It could not be more clear that we need leaders in Washington with the courage and experience to stand up and fight back. I’m humbled by the outpouring of support and the grassroots energy that is the backbone of this effort to defend our democracy and protect our fundamental rights. Our people-powered campaign is just getting started.”
The contributions came from 2,100 individual donors, over 1,500 of which gave $100 or less, according to Goldman’s campaign. Goldman – who’s a wealthy heir and former assistant U.S. attorney – hasn’t had to dip into his personal fortune so far to raise money for the race, according to a published report.
Goldman gained national prominence during the televised proceedings of Trump’s first impeachment trial and as an MSNBC analyst. He and his wife have lived in Tribeca with their five children for the past several years. In addition to Tribeca, the new district includes much of Manhattan below 14th Street and parts of Brooklyn like Park Slope and Sunset Park.
Some of Goldman’s opponents’ campaigns, however, aren’t too impressed by his fundraising numbers. A source within Rivera’s campaign told PoliticsNY she expected Goldman to report a large fundraising haul, considering he’s been raising money for some time and has a national network, but was surprised he brought in even more campaign cash at this point.
“He has a really broad national network and he’s an MSNBC contributor, who’s been going on a couple times a week,” she said. “We expected a very big number and so I was surprised to only see 2,100 contributors. I’d imagine a lot of that includes double checks, people maxing out in the primary and then giving again in the general. But obviously, there’s no competitive general here, so none of that money could be used in this race.”
The source declined to tell PoliticsNY how much money Rivera’s campaign has raised ahead of the July 15 campaign finance filing deadline, but said they “feel really good” about where the campaign is fundraising wise. Especially after Rivera was endorsed by U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez last month.
“We feel very confident that we are going to have the resources we need to run a campaign where we win and even more confident that we’ll be in a position to do that,” she said.
A source close to Niou’s campaign also expressed confidence about where they are with both the campaign’s fundraising and field operation. Niou is one of the more progressive candidates in the race – she got the coveted support of the New York Working Families Party last month.
While $1.2 million is an impressive figure, he said, most of that money likely came from donors outside the district. Plus, raising a large sum of money doesn’t necessarily mean Goldman will use it to connect with district voters on the issues that matter most to them.
“Raising this money is great, but when you have people who have a lot of money but not a lot of sense of what the ground looks like in this district, it sort of mutes the advantage,” he said.
A spokesman for Jones’ campaign declined to comment until they have their final fundraising numbers, while de Blasio’s campaign didn’t respond to requests for comment.