Cuomo sees drop in donations, wields $18M in campaign funds

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, a Republican candidate for New York governor, has reported raising $4 million over the first half of this year, exceeding the $2.3 million taken in over the same period by incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo, according to campaign finance filings.

Cuomo, a Democrat, has amassed an $18 million campaign war chest but compared with the second half of last year when he took in $4 million, the latest filings suggest a dip in financial support. Cuomo has faced scandals over sexual misconduct allegations as well as his administration’s handling of data on coronavirus deaths in nursing homes.

Zeldin, of Long Island, has nearly $3.2 million on hand for his campaign. Cuomo, who has been in office since 2011, is expected to run for a fourth term in 2022.

Other candidates for governor include former Westchester County Executive and 2014 gubernatorial GOP nominee, Rob Astorino; Lewis County sheriff, Mike Carpinelli; and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s son, Andrew Giuliani.

No other Democrats have officially announced plans to run for governor.

Cuomo’s spokesperson Rich Azzopardi has claimed without evidence that the attorney general’s probe into sexual harassment allegations is motivated by her desire to run for governor herself.

Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, has not said whether she’s running for governor in 2022. The latest campaign finance filings reported that she’s raised $1 million from January through June, ending with $1.6 million in cash on hand.