Dr. Barry Weinstein has outspent his Republican primary challenger Penny Zeplowitz by more than 3-1 so far in the 15th District County Legislature race in which neither candidate seems to mind spending family funds.
Weinstein has raised $36,227 and spent about $31,800 as of July 15, according to campaign reports filed with the county Board of Elections. Weinstein's contributions include $30,000 in loans from his wife, Lois.
Mrs. Zeplowitz raised $8,600 and spent $8,900 as of July 15, the reports show. Her funds include $6,000 in loans from her husband, Barry.
"I'm spending my own money," Weinstein said. "I put my money away last year, when I decided I was running. I'm not taking any money from any groups. If I win, I won't owe anyone anything."
"Yes," Mrs. Zeplowitz said. "I am using some of my own money. When you are not the endorsed Republican candidate, obviously you don't have the type of funding sources the endorsed candidates would have."
Weinstein, the endorsed Republican, and Mrs. Zeplowitz, the Republican challenger, are in a primary battle in the 15th Legislative District, which covers a portion of Amherst. The seat is currently held by Randi Cohen Kennedy, a Democrat seeking re-election.
Mrs. Cohen Kennedy has not yet filed her campaign statements because of a recent death in the family. However, one of Mrs. Cohen Kennedy's campaign workers said she has raised about $10,000 and has not spent much money so far. Mrs. Cohen Kennedy is not facing a primary challenge.
The bulk of the $8,600 that Mrs. Zeplowitz's campaign has spent so far has gone for polling, direct mailings and literature, all of which are being handled by the political consulting firm the candidate's husband owns and operates -- Barry Zeplowitz & Associates.
Much of the $31,800 Weinstein has spent has gone to political consultants, including Chodorow Associates Limited, Amherst, which was paid $7,500; Kevin Hardwick Associates, which was paid $2,000; and Holark Systems, which was paid $2,830.
Mrs. Zeplowitz has vowed to keep her primary spending to no more than $20,000 and has asked Weinstein to do the same. He refuses, saying he does not know how much he will spend, and that Mrs. Zeplowitz's request is a smoke screen, since her husband is a professional political consultant and pollster.