Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, an Erie County Democrat, had not raised a penny for her campaign since the fall of 2014. That all changed on May 2, and she’s been on a blistering fundraising pace ever since.
Driving it: the serious Democratic primary challenge she is facing for her job from Jumaane Williams, a New York City Council member from Brooklyn.
Since early May 2 until a couple days ago, Hochul raised $1.2 million, spent $150,000 and has $1.2 million in the bank for her September Democratic primary against Williams, according to a campaign finance report with the state elections board. Her individual donors gave at an average rate of more than $1,500 apiece, and she got donations topping $10,000 from people in New York, California, Florida, Virginia and New Jersey. Leslie Zemsky, the wife of Cuomo economic development boss Howard Zemsky, donated $21,100 to Hochul. A number of unions maxed out with $21,000 donations to Hochul.
Like Cuomo, Hochul reported a number of in-kind donations from groups and individuals footing the bill for her fundraising events, such as $1,400 from Tonio Burgos, a lobbyist who goes back to the days of the late Gov. Mario Cuomo. Hochul also got what was listed as a $29,000 loan from Cuomo.
Hochul’s campaign put out a press release saying that she was announcing “impressive fundraising numbers."
Williams' filing has not yet been made public. His campaign said it met the legal deadline by filing his campaign report Monday night. However, on Tuesday, a state elections board spokesman said Williams' filing was not in a readable format and so the campaign must resubmit the report.