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Cash for votes: what will NY21 candidates do with their war chests?


If Republican candidates Matthew A. Doheny and Elise M. Stefanik and Democratic candidate Aaron G. Woolf combined their liquid campaign resources, they would have more than $1.2 million in the bank.

For now, that money is “cash on hand” — money that can be readily spent on advertising and other campaign expenses in the race for the 21st Congressional District.

According to the Federal Election Commission, Mr. Doheny leads the pack with $516,444 cash on hand. Mr. Woolf and Ms. Stefanik have $403,405 and $350,825, respectively.

Mr. Doheny lent his campaign $250,500, Mr. Woolf lent his $200,000 and Ms. Stefanik lent hers $15,000.

With a contentious primary looming for the Republican line, Ms. Stefanik and Mr. Doheny no doubt will be looking toward their resources to help them make it past June 24.

Ms. Stefanik said that she was proud of her first quarter filing and that she was looking forward to appearing on the ballot on the Republican and Conservative lines in November for the general election.

“We’re focusing on running a very competitive campaign,” she said.

To take this seat back from the Democrats, who have held it since 2009 when Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, was elected, the Republican Party needs to unite behind a single candidate, Ms. Stefanik said.

She also took aim at the large loans both Mr. Doheny and Mr. Woolf made to their campaigns. She said a self-funded candidate has never been successful in the 21st District.

She was most proud of the $5, $10, and $20 donations she’s received, she said.

David M. Catalfamo, a spokesman for Mr. Doheny, said his candidate would stay focused on reaching out to as many district voters as he can.

“We’re going to stay focused on what matters the most, the people in the district,” Mr. Catalfamo said.

Mr. Catalfamo said that “metrics” and advertising may also play a role in Mr. Doheny’s campaign strategy.

Responding to Ms. Stefanik’s criticism of Mr. Doheny’s loan to his campaign, Mr. Catalfamo said, “We’re committed to running a strong race and we have the resources to do so. We’re going to focus on the voters.”

Mr. Woolf is facing a potential primary against Stephen W. Burke, a Macomb Democrat.

Mr. Burke’s ballot petitions have been challenged, however, and with only 1,311 signatures, an election attorney would have to eliminate only 62 to disqualify him from the ballot.

Meanwhile, Mr. Woolf’s campaign seems intently focused on the future, and will concentrate its resources on the general election.

“We’re very excited by the energy and enthusiasm we are feeling on the campaign trail,” Stuart Rosenberg, Mr. Woolf’s campaign manager, said in an email. “That we have been so successful in our fundraising efforts in such a short time is just one sign that the residents of the 21st Congressional District of New York are embracing our campaign. We plan to use all our resources to make sure voters hear Aaron’s positive message in support of working together with all residents to find responsible solutions that grow our middle class and create more jobs.”

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