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Cuomo Starting to Spend Money from Campaign War Chest

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TWC News: Cuomo Starting to Spend Money from Campaign War Chest
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Candidates filed their six-month fundraising totals with the Board of Elections Tuesday, and while Governor Andrew Cuomo is on solid financial ground, he's also starting to spend some money from his massive campaign war chest. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.

Governor Andrew Cuomo raised a lot of money over the last six months, but he also spent plenty. The Democrat took in more than $8.5 million since January and spent close to $7 million. But due to robust fundraising last year, the governor is sitting on more then $35 million in cash on hand.

Cuomo's Republican opponent, Rob Astorino, continues to lag far behind. In a race that was already an uphill battle against a popular incumbent, Astorino raised $3.4 million over the last six months and has a total of $2.4 million in cash on hand.

"We'll probably see a lot of bigger checks going to the state Republican party's campaign accounts and to various super PACs, which have been created to support him and which probably will be created," said Bill Mahoney of the New York Public Interest Research Group. "But the troubling thing with his numbers is that there aren't a lot of people who seem any interest in giving even a small amount to him to kind of show their support."

A spokeswoman for Astorino said he raised money from more than 4,000 individual donors.

Another key battleground this fall will be the state Senate, where Democrats are hoping to retake the majority. In this case, it's the Republicans who have a significant fundraising advantage. Republicans took in $3.7 million since January, with a total of $5 million on hand. Democrats, who recently climbed out of debt, raised $1.3 million over the same period and have a total of $1 million on hand.

"We're in a lot better shape than we were two years ago, the Republicans are in worse shape than they were two years ago and we won four seats last cycle, so we're feeling very optimistic about our chances this year," said state Senator Michael Gianaris of Queens.

In a statement, Senate Republican Campaign Committee Chairwoman Cathy Young said, "The strong bottom line shows New Yorkers are concerned about an all-Democrat, all-New York City government in Albany...and are looking for Senate Republicans to stop that from happening."

Cuomo and Astorino will have to report fundraising totals again at 32 days and then 11 days before the election. Cuomo will also have to file next month because he is facing a Democratic primary in September.

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