Independent expenditure committees critical of Gov. Kathy Hochul are spending millions of dollars on TV and digital ads as the race for governor enters its final weeks.
The ads come as Hochul's campaign so far has easily outspent her Republican opponent, Rep. Lee Zeldin, and as polling has shown her leading him in her bid for a full term.
Filings with the state Board of Elections show Save Our State NY and Safe Together NY have booked a combined $4 million in advertising over the last days this week and into October.
Donors to the groups include Ronald Lauder, a billionaire cosemtics company executive. Lauder last year seeded an independent expenditure committee to oppose the election of Democratic candidates to the state Senate.
Last week, filings show Lauder put $2.5 million into Safe Together NY, and the group booked $2.1 million in advertising.
The group Save Our State NY is focusing on parts of upstate New York, with ad buys for the Hudson Valley as well as on Long Island — politically key swing areas of New York state, said spokesman Joe Borelli.
The spots will focus on law and order issues and has conducted billboard campaigns in suburban areas opposing congestion pricing, Borelli said.
The spending from the committees comes as Hochul has held a fundraising advantage over Zeldin. It also comes ahead of Monday's filing deadline for state campaigns.