The campaign for governor this year was among the most costly, with millions of dollars in money injected into the race by outside entities seeking to sway the outcome. 

The bulk of the money, about $11 million, came from billionaire Ron Lauder, who contributed to indepenent expenditure committees meant to burnish the Republican challenger, Rep. Lee Zeldin. 

All told, about $20 million in outside funding was spent on Zeldin's behalf as the Republican Governors Association also sought to broaden their map of potentially competitive races. 

Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, who raised roughtly $40 million over the last year to run statewide, also benefitted from independent expenditure committees backed by the Democratic Governors Association as well as labor unions. 

The race would ultimately end with the closest margin in a gubernatorial campaign in Democratic-heavy New York since 1994. As Democrats have grown to dominate the state's politicals, money from key donors in the worlds of labor and real estate has often flowed to the party's candidates. 

Unlike directly contributing to a campaign, independent expenditure committees can raise and spend unlimited sums of money, and often do so on TV ads. 

Money from similar committees in prior elections was not nearly as heavy: In 2018, $4.1 million was spent and in 2014, only $2 million was used.