Castelli surpasses Putorti for the first time at NY-21;  Jacobs leads in NY-24 high-loan race |  Best Stories
Castelli surpasses Putorti for the first time at NY-21;  Jacobs leads in NY-24 high-loan race |  Best Stories

Vote Vets, the political action committee that recently endorsed congressional candidate Matt Castelli, also contributed $5,000 to his campaign for the Democratic nomination in the 21st congressional district.

The contribution, his first from a PAC, is an indication that institutional support is starting to build for Mr. Castelli, the candidate endorsed by the party in the June 28 primary for the nomination to challenge MK Elise M. Stefanik , R-Schuylerville, in November .

Matthew F. Putorti, the other Democratic primary candidate, had strong grassroots fundraising in the first quarter, but his campaign spent more than it raised in the quarter and ended the quarter with only about 60% of the campaign funds Mr. Castelli had on hand.

Neither candidate had more than a mere fraction of the $2.84 million Rep. Stefanik had on hand, as of March 31, after transferring more than $800,000 to other Republican campaign efforts in first trimester.

Mr. Castelli, a former CIA counterterrorism official from the city of Saratoga, had $413,662 in his campaign fund as of March 31.

Mr Putorti, a Whitehall lawyer, had $244,150 in his campaign fund as of March 31 and had $5,634 in campaign expenses that had yet to be paid.

Mr. Castelli raised $260,845, including $38,857 in so-called “small dollars” undetailed contributions of less than $250 each, and Putorti raised $128,980, including $54,126 in small contributions, according to reports the campaigns filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission.

The dollar amount of small contributions as well as the percentage of total contributions are considered indicators of grassroots support.

Low-value contributions represented 14.9% of Mr. Castelli’s total contributions in the first quarter and 42% of Mr. Putorti’s contributions.

Congresswoman Stefanik raised $911,308 in the first quarter, including $311,753 in small donations, representing 34.2%, according to a report filed Friday with the FEC.

Representative Stefanik had $2.84 million in her campaign fund as of March 31.

Rep. Stefanik transferred $805,000 from her campaign fund to the National Republican Congressional Committee, the policy arm of the House Republican Conference, in the first quarter, and transferred $20,000 to various individual House Republican campaigns, of the Senate and the governors.

This does not include contributions to candidates Rep. Stefanik has made through her separate E-PAC political action committee that helps women candidates for Congress.

In New York’s 24th congressional district, spanning 14 counties from Jefferson to Erie, along the Lake Ontario shoreline but curving around the south side of Rochester, the three bipartisan candidates took out personal loans to fund their campaigns. The NY-24 campaign, with incumbent Congressman Chris L. Jacobs, R-Orchard Park, running against Geneva-area businessman Mario J. Fratto for the Republican nomination, and the Democrat recently recruited Steven W. Holden, Sr., saw far less money invested than the NY-21 race.

Mr. Jacobs, the incumbent, has raised a total of $758,368 this election cycle, including $202,603.50 in the last quarter. $143,785 of that total came from individual donors, and only $4,260 of that amount came from small donations.

Mr. Jacobs contributed $5,750 from the New York State Republican Party, as well as the Livingston and Genesee County Republican committees. The remaining $153,095 he raised last quarter came from various PACS, representing major agricultural groups, military contractors like L3Harris, pro-gun groups like the National Shooting Sports Foundation, charter school advocacy groups , major national and international corporations, including The Home Depot, the National Fuel and Gas Company, and national Republican donor groups.

Mr. Jacobs, along with the other two candidates running in NY-24, have all made personal loans to their campaigns. Mr. Jacobs lent exactly $550,000 of his personal funds to his campaign. This money is divided into small loans granted several times in 2019 and 2020. The loans bear no interest and have no maturity date.

Mr Jacobs ended the quarter with $481,505 in cash, having spent $55,252 on campaign expenses and $391,476 since November 2020.

Mr. Jacobs’ opponent for the Republican nomination in this year’s June 28 primary, Mr. Fratto, has raised $81,670 in total since his campaign began in February. This is the first quarter that he has reported any financial activity for his campaign.

Mr. Fratto raised all of that money from individual donors, along with $4,220 in small dollar donations. He also donated $31,850 of his own money to the campaign, either counting personal expenses as campaign expenses or donating funds to himself through the online fundraising portal WinRed.

Mr. Fratto also gave his campaign a $100,000 loan from her. The loan was issued on March 30 and bears no interest. It is scheduled for December 31.

Mr. Fratto saw no money coming from PACs or party committees.

The Democrat in the race for NY-24, Mr. Holden, raised $50,658 all from individual donors last quarter and has raised $99,781 since the start of his campaign. Mr. Holden raised all that funding as the Democratic primary candidate for NY-22, the Syracuse-based district. He was recruited by Democratic officials from NY-24 to run as their selected candidate here, and officially announced his campaign in the district in early April after the end of the last fiscal quarter.

Mr. Holden gave $33,513 of his personal money to the campaign, not as a loan, but also gave him an interest-free loan of $30,000 on March 15.

Overall Mr. Holden spent $55,709 in the last quarter and spent $74,071 in his entire campaign. He has $55,709 left in cash.

(The Times’ Alex Gault contributed reporting on the NY-24 congressional race.)

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