In campaign money, state Sen. Dave Valesky, D-Oneida, maintains a strong fundraising lead in the race for 49th state Senate District.
But in October, his Republican challenger Andrew Russo, a political novice and concert pianist from Jamesville, was closing the gap. By Oct. 25, state campaign finance records show, Valesky had raised $213,931 in October. By comparison, Russo had raised $281,226. That’s $67,295 more than Valesky raised in the month.
But Valesky was still the fundraising front-runner with $277,143 on hand to Russo’s $156, 414.
The 49th state Senate District includes southern and northeastern portions of Onondaga County. The election is Nov. 2.
Here’s an overview of Valesky’s fundraising, from campaign finance reports filed with the New York State Board of Elections:
- Of his total contributions, 22 percent — or $47,487 — came from named individual donors. His largest individual donors are Daniel Brodsky and Mary Ann Tighe, both of New York city and each of whom gave $9,500.
- 13 percent — or $27,850 — came from political action committees, or PACs. A PAC is a group that raises money to spend on political causes or candidates.
- Valesky’s PAC contributions include: $5,000 from HRC New York PAC, a human rights PAC; $5,000 from Charter PAC, from Clifton Park, N.Y.; and $2,500 from New York State Laborers’ PAC, a union political action committee.
- As of Oct. 25 Valesky had spent $310,188.
- His largest expenditures were $150,000 and $100,000 spent on TV ads.
One of Valesky’s donors is Gloria Sage, 74, a retired chemist from Syracuse. She gave $100 to his campaign. She’s attracted to his plan to create an independent commission to re-draw the state’s political districts instead of the usual practice of having elected officials draw the districts.
“The districts are ridiculous. Very few people have compact, reasonable boundaries,” Sage said. “Most people in power try to make their district so they’ll get elected.”
(Ana Yanni is a graduate student in magazine, newspaper and online journalism.)