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New York Democrats Make Fundraising Gains in Key US House Races

(Bloomberg) -- Democratic challengers in three New York swing districts are closing the fundraising gap on incumbent Republicans as the battle for the US House majority intensifies.

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In a fourth race — the Feb. 13 special election to fill the Long Island seat vacated by scandal-plagued Republican George Santos — former Democratic congressman Tom Suozzi has raised more than three times as much as his Republican challenger, Mazi Pilip.

The fundraising, detailed in the campaigns’ latest disclosures, spell good news for Democrats, whose strategy to regain control of the House runs directly through six districts in New York State.

“Democratic congressional candidates across the Empire State are in a strong fundraising position,” Ellie Dougherty, spokesperson for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said Friday.

The critical contests run from the New York City suburbs to the Hudson River Valley and west to the Catskill Mountains and Syracuse, where Republicans are trying to hang on in districts Joe Biden won in 2020.

Their prospects may also depend heavily on the redrawing of district lines as a result of a state court order, and whether the remaking of those lines could ensure Democratic pick-ups in several of these seats, saving the party money that could be sent to races in other states.

Still, it’s notable that three of the GOP incumbents — freshmen Nick LaLota, Mike Lawler and Marc Molinaro - all saw opponents outraise them in the final three months of 2023.

In a lower Hudson Valley district that includes all or parts of Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties — one of the most heavily Democratic leaning districts held by a Republican — former Democratic congressman Mondaire Jones raised $263,000 more than Lawler raised over that time.

But Lawler has raised more money in contributions and transfers from other committees since the beginning of the election cycle, more than $3.3 million to Jones’ $2.1 million. Lawler also had an edge in money reported still on hand, about $2.5 million to about $1.5 million.

Further up the Hudson Valley, Democrat Josh Riley, defeated by Molinaro in 2022, reported raising $244,000 more than Molinaro in the last three months of 2023.

Molinaro holds only a small fundraising edge, about $2.2 million to Riley’s $2 million. He has about $1.6 million still on hand, compared to Riley’s roughly $1.4 million.

In a Long Island race, Nancy Goroff, a Democrat, raised $216,000 more than LaLota. LaLota has raised more than $1.6 million since the start of the cycle, though, and still has an edge on cash on hand — more than $1.2 million to Goroff’s more than $529,000.

In two other competitive New York districts, Republican freshmen Brandon Williams and Anthony D’Esposito are maintaining their fundraising advantage over a divided Democratic roster.

National Republican Congressional Committee spokeswoman Savannah Viar dismissed recent fundraising numbers as indicating trouble for LaLota, Lawler and Molinaro.

“Voters know that LaLota, Lawler and Molinaro are delivering for them, which is why they have significant cash on hand advantage compared to their previously rejected opponents,” Viar pointed out. “LaLota, Lawler and Molinaro will be resoundingly re-elected this fall.”

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