Curran holds fundraising advantage over Blakeman in exec race
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran has a campaign war chest more than three times larger than that of her Republican challenger, Hempstead Town Councilman Bruce Blakeman, as the executive race kicks into high gear this summer.
Curran, 53, a Democrat seeking her second four-year term, has $2.1 million in cash, after raising $950,897 in contributions between mid-January to mid-July, according to the most recent campaign finance report filed with the state Board of Elections.
The report also shows Curran spent more than $910,000 during the same period. She began this cycle with an opening balance of $2 million in January.
Blakeman, 65, who in March announced his bid to unseat Curran, had an opening balance of zero and received donations totaling $575,710. Blakeman’s campaign expenses were about $25,000.
Curran campaign manager Shelby Wiltz called the fundraising numbers an “impressive show of support” for the incumbent who led the county through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“More than 80% of adults have been vaccinated, the budget is balanced and Nassau is reopening. Our supporters are energized because they know that Laura Curran is the proven leader Nassau needs for its next chapter,” Wiltz said.
Blakeman said in a statement Friday: “I am extremely happy with what we were able to raise in this filing period and being able to do so with way less expenses than my opponent. I am confident that we will have the resources to win this election decisively.”
As for Curran’s top donors, nearly $50,000 came from the campaign fund of Democratic Rep. Kathleen Rice of Garden City. The financial disclosures show two separate donations from Friends of Kathleen Rice — $20,000 in April and $29,828 in May.
According to the filings, Rep. David Trone of Maryland gave Curran an individual donation of $25,000; Daniel Goldstein, a former trustee in the Village of Lawrence, donated $15,000; John Corr of Spring Valley in Rockland County, president of The Trans Group, a school transportation company, gave $15,000; and the state Democratic Committee provided $12,000.
Billionaire John Catsimatidis, owner of the Manhattan grocery chain Gristedes Foods and a former New York City mayoral candidate, donated $10,000 to Curran’s campaign, the filings show.
Among Blakeman’s top contributions is a $25,000 donation from the Committee for Fair Property Taxes, based in Garden City.
The group is the joint political action committee of Nassau County’s largest residential tax appeal firms, Newsday reported in 2019, who benefited from the county tax assessment system under former County Executive Edward Mangano. Curran overhauled the county’s property tax assessment system.
Nassau’s Republican Committee transferred $28,290 to Blakeman’s campaign fund.
Harvinder Singh of Old Westbury, chief executive of the Bolla gas station chain, gave $25,000 to Blakeman’s campaign.
Blakeman also received contributions of $15,000 each from Malcolm Herzog of Palos Park, Illinois and Eleonor Goldblat of Merrick.
As for expenses, the Curran campaign this filling period spent nearly $78,000 on Tucker Green & Company, a political consulting firm, and $61,000 on Global Strategy Group, a communication firm, both based in Manhattan.
Blakeman’s campaign spent more than $4,800 on Facebook and $761 on Win Red, an online platform for political conservatives.