A massive late surge of spending helped Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, R-Clarence, narrowly defeat Democratic challenger Jack Davis in their Nov. 7 rematch, Federal Election Commission records show.
As predicted, spending on the campaign for New York's sprawling 26th Congressional District set an upstate record -- about $8.1 million when so-called independent expenditures are included.
Reynolds listed expenditures of $5.2 million; Davis spent $2.4 million.
Independent organizations, mostly unions, opposed to Reynolds spent an additional $190,000. The Republican National Committee allocated about $460,000 in independent efforts trying to defeat Davis.
Reynolds' postelection report to the FEC showed he spent up to $1.7 million in the "media services" column in the final month of his rematch with the Newstead industrialist. By comparison, Davis spent about $800,000 in August and September, leaving him with little to spend in the final four weeks of the campaign.
Overcoming what Reynolds termed an anti-incumbent "head wind," he won a fifth term by 2 percentage points.
Among Reynolds' late contributors were a number of unions in the building trades and other fields that gave his campaign $62,000, although Davis was endorsed by the union-backed Working Families Party.
Reynolds also got $10,000 from Gov. George E. Pataki's political action committee, the 21st Century Fund; and $1,000 each from PACs run by former Sen. Alfonse M. D'Amato, R-N.Y., and Rudolph W. Giuliani, former mayor of New York. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a GOP presidential hopeful, gave Reynolds $5,000.
Moveon.Org spent $641 in an independent expenditure against Reynolds.
Reynolds' campaign committee is debt-free. Davis, who financed the campaign almost entirely on his own, owes himself $2.5 million.