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Entering the final days of the Democratic primary race for Niagara County District Attorney, challenger Andrew A. Ligammari was outspending incumbent Matthew J. Murphy III, but Murphy has greater reserves for a late push.

Financial disclosure statements filed at the county Board of Elections showed Ligammari had spent $50,770 as of Sept. 3, the last date for which figures are available, while Murphy had spent $39,624.

But Murphy had $5,335 left in his war chest, while Ligammari was down to $628.

Murphy, of Lockport, is running for his third term. He has three minor-party lines to fall back on if he loses the primary, but this is Ligammari's only chance to reach the November ballot.

Ligammari, of Porter, has paid for most of his campaign out of his own pocket. His forms show that he has lent his campaign committee $31,232, while raising $20,146 from other sources.

Murphy has been tapping his own bank account, too. He has made $7,750 worth of contributions to his campaign committee, while another $9,500 came from family loans: $7,500 from his wife and $2,000 from his father, retired Assemblyman Matthew J. Murphy Jr.

During the six weeks between mid-July and the latest financial reporting deadline, Murphy had spent $5,100 of his own money, while Ligammari had spent $6,071.

Murphy's most recent report of itemized contributions included checks from eight assistant district attorneys, with Thomas H. Brandt the highest contributor, giving $190. He also cashed a $250 check from Sheriff Thomas A. Beilein.

Ligammari lacked contributions large enough to itemize. Donations of at least $100 must be listed.

Local newspapers have been the biggest financial beneficiaries of the race. As of the early September filing date, Murphy had spent $11,000 on newspaper advertisements, while Ligammari had spent $3,525.

During the period from mid-August through last weekend, Murphy's campaign also spent $11,201 on printing at Quiller and Blake Advertising in Niagara Falls. He had spent $1,037 on radio commercial time and $834 on postage.

Ligammari spent $600 on radio and bought $896 worth of balloons during the same period.

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