We're heading into an all-important election year, with every seat in the State Senate and Assembly up for grabs amid an unprecedented amount of public disgust with the state of affairs in New York.
Money is going to play a significant role in determining which incumbents hang onto their seats and I've researched the latest filings with the state Board of Elections to get a handle on what sort of financial shape the incumbents in our local delegation are in. (Ah, the glamor of being an investigative reporter. The exercise was almost as much fun as shoveling my driveway. Without gloves on).
Here's what I found out, starting with the Senate:
Dale Volker has $71,904 in the bank and raised $23,047 for the six-month period ending Jan. 15.
Antoine Thompson has $149,641 in the bank and raised $199,525 the past six months.
Mike Ranzenhofer: $100,333 and $94,247.
Bill Stachowski: $214,535 and $79,376.
Catherine Young: $304,714 and $37,136.
George Maziarz: $628,833 and $81,295.
As you can see, Mariarz and Young are sitting pretty. Volker is at the other end of the spectrum and it's noteworthy that Erie County Republican Chairman Jim Domagalski is making noises about challenging him.
Thompson is probably going to have success raising money -- he did well the past six months -- because he was just named one of three co-chairs of a party committee charged with re-electing Democrats to the Senate. That gives him access to donors.
Here's how the Assembly looks:
Francine Delmonte has $55,117 in the bank, thanks in part to raising $19,850 over the past six months.
Sam Hoyt has a negative cash balance of $10,302. Repeat -- negative cash balance. Steve Pigeon has to be doing cartwheels over this bit of news. Hoyt raised $39,184 during the last reporting period.
Jim Hayes: $76,513 and $40,249.
Crystal Peoples-Stokes: $58,836 and $8,929.
Jack Quinn: $8,304 and $12,314. For a candidate supposedly interested in challenging Stachowski, this is an awfully small bank balance.
Robin Schimminger: $410,349 and $12,680.
Mark Schroeder: $2,960 and $26,545.
Dennis Gabryszak: $10,589 and $31,094.
William Parment: $31,130 and $2,026.
Dan Burling: $22,959 and $22,180.
Jane Corwin: $5,753 and $3,025.
Joseph Giglio: $12,280 and $100.
Steve Hawley: $75,008 and $9.
The big news here is obviously Hoyt's numbers. He's got a long way to go in the fund-raising department, especially if Pigeon again targets him with Tom Golisano's money.
Schimminger is the only Assembly incumbent with all that impressive of a bankroll, but there's lots of talk he might finally be in for serious competition.
Add it all up, and the Assembly and Senate incumbents start the year with $2.2 million in the bank. Two-thirds of it, $1.5 million, in the hands of Senate incumbents, whose body is the target of particular public scorn.
Keep in mind, however, that $1.3 million of the $2.2 million is in the hands of just three legislators - Maziarz, Young and Schimminger. So it's not like the rest of them are financed to the hilt.
Regardless, the collective pile of money underscores the challenge to those who would like to oust the incumbents.
I encourage readers to explore the links, as they lead to the details of candidate fund-raising and spending. Feel free to play reporter and share with the class.
Either way, enjoy this topical tune.
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taggedPolitics | State government