Written by Robert Harding in the Auburn Pub on Jan 9, 2020

U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik on Wednesday said she raised more than $3.2 million in the final quarter of 2019 — a massive fundraising haul for an upstate New York congressional candidate in a non-election year. 

Stefanik’s campaign released preliminary fourth-quarter campaign finance figures. She has nearly $3.4 million cash on hand entering 2020. There were nearly 50,000 first-time donors to her campaign and the average donation was $50.

The year-end fundraising total is a record for the North Country congressional seat. In the three other quarters of 2019, Stefanik raised more than $1.3 million and had $1.28 million cash on hand entering the final few months of the year.

With the financial support she received in the fourth quarter, Stefanik has already set a personal best for fundraising in an election cycle. The $3.2 million she raised in the last quarter is more than the $2.8 million she raised in the entire 2018 cycle.

As a first-time candidate in 2014, she raised $1.95 million as a challenger. In 2016, she raised $3.15 million over a two-year period.

“This record-breaking support is indicative of the countless bipartisan results I’ve delivered for the hardworking families in my district,” Stefanik said in a statement.

The big financial boost is likely due to the national attention Stefanik received as a leading opponent of the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. She was praised by Republicans for her questioning of witnesses during House Intelligence Committee hearings.

In a tweet, Trump called Stefanik a “new Republican star.”

Stefanik’s Democratic opponent, Tedra Cobb, also benefited from the impeachment proceedings. Some prominent Democrats and celebrities posted on social media urging their followers to give to Cobb’s campaign. Over a weekend in November, Cobb raised $1 million.

Cobb’s campaign raised more than $2 million in the quarter, according to a Politico report

While Cobb’s fundraising total is a sizable amount for a congressional challenger, Stefanik still holds the financial advantage in the race.

“I am overwhelmed by this historic level of support from my constituents and donors across the country for my reelection in 2020,” Stefanik said. “Every day of the week, I choose the North Country and America over the Far-Left Hollywood liberals like Rosie O’Donnell and Chelsea Handler who are funding my opponent.”

The race between Stefanik and Cobb is a rematch of the 2018 election. Stefanik defeated Cobb by 32,190 votes in the sprawling northern New York congressional district.

Online producer Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or robert.harding@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.

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