By Patrick Donachie
Running for Congress is not cheap, according to Federal Election Commission campaign filings submitted by candidates in the race to succeed U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-Melville).
Four of the five candidates in Tuesday’s Democratic primary submitted information to the FEC, including details about individual and committee contributions, loans and expenditures. Contributions for former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman, North Hempstead Town Councilwoman Anna Kaplan and Suffolk County Legislator Steve Stern all ranged in the mid six-figures during a six month period. Attorney Jonathan Clarke did not raise file with the FEC.
Suozzi had the highest total contribution amount at $736,530. Like the other candidates, most of the contributions came from individual contributions, although $11,000 came from other committees, including unions and campaign committees of supportive elected officials like Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. Kaiman raised $320,441 in contributions, whereas Kaplan raised $680,807 and Stern raised $673,997 to date. All amounts were prior to expenditures, which were primarily spent on political consulting firms and media buys.
According to the first-quarter filings for the candidates which ended on March 31, Stern had the most cash on hand with $444,530. Anna Kaplan reported giving her campaign three loans totaling $248,000, while Stern reported five separate loans to his campaign totaling $89,840.
The largest donators to Suozzi’s campaign were from unitemized contributions, which means the total did not exceed the FEC’s threshold to report and therefore do not have to disclose certain information, according to the New York City Campaign Finance Board. Kaplan received approximately $11,000 in unitemized contributions, while Stern received about $13,300. Stern’s highest total came from $17,702 in itemized contributions to his campaign committee from five different employees at Amneal Pharmaceuticals, whose U.S. corporate offices are based in New Jersey. Several of the same Amneal employees were also contributors to Israel in 2015.
All information appeared in financial summaries measuring the candidates’ fund raising and expenditures from Jan. 1 to June 8.
Reach reporter Patrick Donachie by e-mail at pdona