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Gov. Hochul Holds Steep Fund-Raising Edge Over Her G.O.P. Rival

According to the latest campaign filing numbers, there is little question that Representative Lee Zeldin faces an extreme uphill battle in his effort to unseat Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York.

Ms. Hochul, a Democrat, has a better than seven to one fund-raising advantage over Mr. Zeldin, a conservative Republican congressman from Long Island, heading into their general election showdown.

Ms. Hochul reported $11.7 million in the bank as of mid-July, compared with just $1.57 million for Mr. Zeldin, reports filed late Friday show.

But perhaps the starkest example of the governor’s fund-raising advantage — and, perhaps, her confidence of victory in November — was the nearly $1 million that her campaign transferred to the state Democratic Party, more than half of it before she won her primary election in late June.

The $950,000 transfer outpaced the little under $900,000 that Mr. Zeldin reported in the latest period (June 14-July 11), about 60 percent from donors who gave in chunks of $5,000.

The largest single source of contributions listed on Mr. Zeldin’s financial disclosure report wasn’t from an individual donor, however — it was from unitemized donations, which have no names attached.

Campaigns are not required to report the names of donors who give no more than $99. Many campaigns do so anyway; Ms. Hochul, for example, has listed no unitemized donations in reports going back to August of last year.

Representative Lee Zeldin accepting the Republican nomination for governor in February. Credit…Johnny Milano for The New York Times

Mr. Zeldin has taken the opposite tack. In the last year, the congressman has reported at least $897,636 from unitemized donors, representing 10 percent of the total haul for the Zeldin for New York campaign committee during that time, records show. Mr. Zeldin’s campaign did not immediately respond to questions from The New York Times.

In the latest report, Mr. Zeldin reported receiving $72,546 from unitemized donors.

Ms. Hochul raised over $2 million from mid-June through the beginning of last week, about $1.8 million (86 percent) of which came in chunks of $5,000 or greater. She shattered previous records for a single state reporting period in January, and she has far outpaced her rivals in both parties ever since.

Ms. Hochul’s campaign is hoping to raise as much as $70 million for her race at a time when Democrats nationally are facing headwinds because of sky-high inflation and President Biden’s sagging approval ratings. She has already accumulated half that ambitious amount, with about $35 million raised since she was sworn in as governor on Aug. 24 last year, after Andrew M. Cuomo resigned amid allegations that he had sexually harassed multiple women.

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