COLONIE — Former Judge Peter Crummey raised $105,500 in his bid to become town supervisor, according to the July filings at the state Board of elections, more than three times raised by his Democratic Party opponent, Kelly Mateja.
The two are vying to succeed Supervisor Paula Mahan, who earlier this year said she would retire rather than seek an eighth term heading up the Capital District’s largest town.
As of July 15, the first filing for candidates heading into this fall’s election who did not have to face a primary, Crummey raised $105,592, an unprecedented amount of money for a town race, even one the size of Colonie. He spent nearly $9,000 but there were no big ticket items like television or other advertising. He spent $1,300 on printing and another $1,000 on election t-shirts and hats. He has $96,600 left in the bank.
In its own right, Mateja’s financials are impressive considering it is only July, she is making her first run at public office and campaigns really don’t get geared up until after Labor Day. She raised $33,817, spent a little more than $6,284 and has $27,532 left in the bank.
Peter Gannon, a Democrat who was intimately involved with Mahan’s campaigns and Colonie politics for nearly two decades but is not active this year, said Crummey’s “haul is unprecedented at the July cycle.”
“Mateja’s haul is impressive against any other candidacy I can remember, it only looks paltry relative to Crummey,” he said. “That said, it looks like both are working hard and it will be very competitive. But Crummey has a serious advantage with 100,000 on hand to her less than $20,000.”
Crummey, a lawyer for decades and a judge for more than 20, received a number of contributions from members of the Capital District bar and more than a handful of $1,000 and $2,000 contributions and a whole host of $250 to $500 contributions.
The largest contribution listed was $3,574, but the odd amount indicates it is a number of smaller contributions added together. Contributions smaller than $100 do not require itemization by the state BOE. The second largest contributions are $2,500 from Tech East Fire and Restoration and same amount from the New York State Laborers Political Action Committee.
A number of Republicans from around the area also gave to one of the party’s strongest and best known candidates.
“I am humbled by the outpouring of support,” Crummey said. “When you see more than 320 families and donors contributed to support me in this effort without even holding a campaign event, it is humbling, and it reinforces my belief we are doing the right thing by running for Colonie town supervisor.”
Mateja’s two largest contributions, described on the financials as family members, came from Jeanne and Michael Brown, who donated $2,500 each. Her second largest contributor is Susan Weber, the founding member of SAVE Colonie, a Partnership for Planning, who donated $2,000. The SEIU Political Action Committee also donated $1,500.
On the expenditure side of her ledger, she has listed two outstanding liabilities of about $6,200 each to Lamar Advertising, a company specializing in billboards. When they are factored in she has a balance of $15,130 in the bank.
Mateja said she is getting an enthusiastic response from residents she has visited while knocking on doors and that “money isn’t going to win this race.”
“Hard work and listening to the people of this town will,” she said. “If I thought money alone would decide this campaign, I would not have run. I may not raise more than Mr. Crummey but I will raise enough to beat him. I will never outspend Mr. Crummey but I will always outwork him.”
To put the amount of money raised by both candidates into perspective, in 2019, the last supervisor election, Mahan started the July period with an opening balance of $23,700, she raised 18,000 from January to July, spent $9,000 and entered the summer campaign months against Republican George Scaringe with $32,000 in the bank.
Scaringe, who had been involved in the Republican Party for decades but who was making his first run at public office, raised $43,879, spent $10,000 and had $33,530 heading into August.
Jessica Mahar, who is running as a Democrat with Working Families support, was the most active of the six candidates vying for three open seats on the Town Board. She raised $13,115, spent $1,868 and has $11,246 in the bank.
Melissa Jeffers, an incumbent Democrat looking for her second four-year term, raised $1,989, spent $1,360 and has $628 in the bank.
Alvin Gamble, a Democrat making his first bid at public office, raised $8,047, spent $2,634 and has $5,412 in the bank.
On the Republican side only one of the three candidates filed by the July 15 deadline.
Jeff Madden had an opening balance of $1,028, raised $5,555, spend about $1,000 and has $5,580 in the bank.
Alexandra Velella and Tony Boncordo do have committees registered with the BOE but had not filed updated financial statements.
According to the BOE, even if there is no financial activity the candidate or committee must still file a periodic report.
There are six judges running for the three open seats on the Colonie Town Court.
Incumbent Republican Norman Massry had an opening balance of $11,666, raised $275, spent $1,169 and has $10,772 in the bank.
Incumbent Republican Andrew Sommers had an opening balance of $1,123, raised $125, spent $150 and has $1,980 in the bank.
Incumbent Democrat David Green, a former Town Board member who was appointed earlier this year to fill the seat vacated by Crummey, had an openingbalance of $787. He didn’t raise any money, spent $321 and has $466 in the bank.
Rebekah Kennedy, a Democrat making her first run for the robes, had an opening balance of $2,398, raised $151, spent $231 and has $2,391 in the bank.
Democrat Daniel Hurteau had a beginning balance of $3,991, he didn’t raise any money and spent $1,014 for a balance of $2,977. His itemized filings, though, show he loaned his campaign $5,000 and hired Behan Communications for the same amount of money.
Jennifer Whalen, an Albany County legislator and former Town Board member making her first run for the bench, had an opening balance of $1,751, raised $150 and spent $1,142 for a balance of $759.
Candidates generally rely on their respective party committees, state and local, to help out with financing a campaign, be it by paying for joint mailers or picking up the tab to host fundraisers at different venues.
The Colonie Republican Party Committee had an opening balance of $5,936, it raised $8,513 and spent $8,258 for a balance of $6,191.
The town Democratic Party Committee had an opening balance of $3,874, it raised $3,121 and spent $5,803 for a balance of $1,192.
The Albany County Republican Party Committee began with a $5,159 balance, it raised $6,900 and spent $8,782 for a balance of $7,661.
The Albany County Democratic Party Committee began with a balance of $16,884, it raised $25,875 and spent $9,148 for a balance of $33,610.
Incumbent Republican Town Clerk Julie Gansle began the cycle with $3,409 in the bank, raised $4,960 and spent $850 for a balance of $7,519.
Her opponent, Democrat Galen Heins, raised $1,802, spent $91 and has a balance of $1,711.
Neither candidate for Receiver of Taxes, incumbent Republican Michele Zilgme nor Leroy Robinson, have filed their financial disclosure statements.
The July periodic report is one of two the state BOE requires political candidates and committees to file annually, the other being in January. The next filing is due 32 days before Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 2.
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