New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin has raised money at a steady clip in his effort to win a full term later this year. Meanwhile, Gov. Kathy Hochul and U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi, both vying for the top of the ticket, reported raising millions of dollars to help with their bids.
Here's a roundup of Tuesday's campaign news in New York.
Benjamin raises more than $1.6 million
Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin has raised more than $1.6 million since he was appointed to the post from the state Senate by Gov. Kathy Hochul in September, his campaign on Tuesday said.
“I’m proud of the support our campaign has earned in a short period of time, and am excited to take this campaign to voters across New York," Benjamin said in a statement. “I’ve spent my career taking on some of the toughest fights to deliver results for New Yorkers, from creating and protecting affordable housing to pursuing equal justice while maintaining public safety to creating jobs and economic opportunity for all. I will keep working to make sure that every New Yorker has a fair shot and a seat at the table, and I look forward to continuing to work with Governor Kathy Hochul to make a difference for middle class and working families.”
Benjamin, a Democrat from Manhattan, has more than $1.5 million in cash on hand. Benjamin is raising the money as a primary for lieutenant governor remains up in the air. The top of the ticket in New York — in this case the governor — runs separately from the candidates for lieutenant governor (though tops of the ticket of their preferred candidates, and Hochul and Benjamin plan on running together).
In the last primary for lieutenant governor, Hochul the incumbent defeated then-New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams.
Hochul raises record amount, Suozzi reports $5.2 million
Since August, Hochul has raised a record $21.6 million and retains nearly all of it with $21.3 million in cash on hand, her campaign said. The governor is seeking a full term this fall, and has quickly surpassed the fundraising of her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo.
Her campaign announced 87.6% of her donors come from New York state, and contributions came from all of the state's 62 counties.
One of her rivals, Rep. Tom Suozzi of Long Island, reported having $5.2 million in cash on hand. He raised $3.3 million in his first weeks of his candidacy, and has transferred $2.1 million from his congressioanl campaign account.
“As Tom introduces himself to voters across the State, they will see that he is the only candidate talking about reducing crime, lowering taxes, and helping our troubled schools and that will resonate with New Yorkers,” said Suozzio senior advisor Kim Devlin. “Voters want a candidate with proven executive experience, common sense solutions, and a willingness to work with Democrats and Republicans to tackle the serious problems New York faces. That’s Tom Suozzi.”
Giuliani remains best known GOP challenger
There are many political lifetimes between today and the June primary for governor. But at the moment, Andrew Giuliani, the former Trump administration official and son of Rudy Giuliani, remains the best known of the Republican challengers, a Siena College poll found.
The poll found 59% of Republican voters have no opinion about Rep. Lee Zeldin, while 62% don't know enough about former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, the party's 2014 nominee for governor. Giuliani clocks in at 34% with Republicans who don't know enough about him, the poll found.
Name recognition also comes with notoriety: When all voters are taken into consideration, Giuliani holds a 44% unfavorable rating, the highest of any of the candidates.