With less than a month to go before Election Day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's re-election campaign has $9.2 million in cash on hand. His four opponents -- including Republican Marc Molinaro, Howie Hawkins of the Green Party, Libertarian Larry Sharpe and independent candidate Stephanie Miner -- have $320,000 -- combined.
“What I liked about those reports is I'm not the only one having trouble raising money. I'm in the mix compared to some of those other guys,” said Hawkins.
Cuomo's general election strategy has leaned not toward his own bid for a third term, but electing Democrats to the state Senate. He's held rallies on Long Island and in the Hudson Valley to boost suburban Democratic candidates ahead of what liberals hope will be a wave year for down-ballot candidates.
“We have to elect a Democratic Senate because we have to have a New York law that protects us every time Washington acts,” said Cuomo.
And rather than flowing to the statewide races, campaign contributions have gone toward the narrowly divided state Senate, with labor unions like the New York State United Teachers Union, the Communications Workers of America and 32BJ spending heavily to help elect Democrats to the chamber.
“We get a new election. You get to make a new choice. And this choice is to reject the choice we made when we elected Donald Trump as president of the United States,” said Cuomo.
For their part, Republicans argue Democratic control of the Legislature would be at the expense of upstate New York and that Cuomo moved too far to the left during the Democratic primary race against challenger Cynthia Nixon . The Green Party's Howie Hawkins argues Cuomo has not really changed since the challenge from his left.
“He talks to the left and governs to the right. He talks about public campaign finance, closing the LLC loophole, etc., and it never happens,” said Hawkins.
And Cuomo has sought to outline the stakes for a Democratic Senate, saying there would be a vote on a bill strengthening abortion rights in New York within 30 days of the new year should the party win control.