It’s not exactly like tallying Election Night votes for county executive, but in the preliminary contest for campaign dollars, incumbent Democrat Mark C. Poloncarz is racking up another advantage.
According to the latest campaign finance reports filed Friday with the State Board of Elections, Poloncarz scores a major edge with $574,449 on hand compared to $56,472 for Republican candidate Lynne M. Dixon.
While the challenger’s campaign offered a “nothing to worry about” reaction, the Poloncarz camp said Friday that its healthy bank account also represents a healthy campaign.
A Poloncarz statement said the filing “showed a mix of small-dollar donors continuing to join with labor and business ... a sure sign that his message of working for all the people of Erie County is resonating.”
It said the latest financials also reflect “the difference between the popular Poloncarz and his flagging Republican opponent.”
“Money does not win races and we know it,” said Poloncarz campaign manager Jennifer L. Hibit, “but clearly there is support in the community for Mark Poloncarz.”
Over at the Dixon campaign, nobody expressed fears that the significantly lower cash on hand total reflected difficulty attracting donors. But they also were not emphasizing the latest results as they did with the July report listing about $252,000 raised.
Campaign manager Bryan Fiume said volunteers continue to work the phones for donations, and spending $277,000 indicates a strong campaign.
“It’s not like we want to be at this point with a lot of money in the bank,” he said. “Throughout the campaign we’ve raised about $370,000, and that’s huge. There is a lot of money still to be put to work in the next weeks.
“We anticipate that we will continue to raise money,” he added. “We will put on a half million dollar campaign.”
Poloncarz spokesman Peter Anderson continued the campaign’s focus on Christopher M. Grant, noting the Dixon campaign consultant’s connection to investigations involving former Erie County Democratic Chairman G. Steven Pigeon and former Rep. Chris Collins.
He also noted that Dixon took campaign donations from a company connected to the interests looking to build a hot mix asphalt plant that has sparked significant opposition in her Hamburg district.
Fiume defended Grant as a “talented consultant ... who has never been accused of a crime let alone charged or convicted.”
He also said Dixon opposes the Hamburg asphalt plan, but acknowledged she received a campaign donation from Stradtman Park LLC, a firm owned by the principals of a company proposing the plant.
“They support her despite her opposition to the project,” he said.