BUFFALO, N.Y. — When it comes to races, a head start usually helps.
That's exactly what Republican Chris Jacobs got in May when he became the first person to officially announce his candidacy in New York's 27th Congressional District race.
"He has to be considered the favorite among non-incumbents," Republican political analyst Vic Martucci said.
According to an advanced copy of Jacobs’ first federal campaign finance report, he raised nearly $450,000 in roughly six weeks. His campaign said the vast majority came from individuals and mostly within the district.
"It's an impressive haul. To raise nearly $450,000, most of it from individual contributions in a six week period, is impressive," Martucci said. "In a six month period, it would be impressive."
Jacobs also loaned himself $325,000 and has roughly three-quarters of a million available to spend. By contrast, incumbent Chris Collins, who has not decided whether to seek re-election yet, has less than $170,000 cash on hand.
"I don't know that Chris Collins would ever be discouraged by this," Martucci said. "Chris takes his own counsel and if he decides he's going to run for re-election, he's going to run for re-election, but more importantly it makes it difficult for other potential primary challengers."
At this point, Jacobs remains the only official candidate although a number of other Republicans are exploring a run. Martucci pointed out, not only will they start at a major deficit, but there's only so much money to go around in Western New York and it appears major donors, even some who've supported Collins in the past, may be behind Jacobs.
"It's always difficult to take that leap and say, without knowing whether or not he's going to run for re-election, I'm going to cast my lot over here and I think some people may be looking at it that way, but clearly from these numbers, that group is a very small group," he said.
The analyst said Collins, who is awaiting a federal trial for insider trading charges, remains a wild card but it appears Jacobs’ decision to enter more than a year early is literally paying off.