Written by Alex Gault for the Watertown Daily Times on July 16, 2020

Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, out-raised Tedra Cobb, her opponent for the 21st District House seat, by almost 200 percent over the month of June.

The quarterly campaign finance reports paint a picture of two very different campaigns. While Ms. Stefanik’s campaign has raised just under $1.6 million from the beginning of April to the end of June, Ms. Cobb’s campaign has raised significantly less, approximately $645,000.

According to finance reports that account for the period from June 4 to June 30, Ms. Stefanik raised $868,589, while Ms. Cobb raised $292,574 in total. In individual contributions, Ms. Stefanik received $696,789 to Ms. Cobb’s $284,574, a difference of nearly 150 percent.

Ms. Stefanik ended the quarter with $4,466,452 in the bank, a massive war chest that outpaces any other Republican in the state. As the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, Ms. Stefanik has more money now than Duchess County Executive Marc Molinaro raised during his entire campaign for the governor’s office in 2018.

Ms. Cobb ended the quarter with $2,699,434 on hand, which is better than her available cash at the end of July in 2018, when she first ran against Ms. Stefanik. That year, Ms. Cobb only had $93,047 at the end of July.

Both candidates enjoyed a significant influx of individual contributions in November, following Ms. Stefanik’s participation in the impeachment hearing for President Donald J. Trump. Ms. Stefanik was vaulted into the national limelight during that hearing, and garnered support from the president himself when he responded to a video on Twitter of Ms. Stefanik at the hearing, saying that “a new Republican star is born.”

Both candidates saw a significant uptick in individual donations after Ms. Stefanik gained national attention in November, and since then have seen a decline as the impeachment hearing has faded into memory. However, Ms. Cobb has seen a more significant drop in fundraising since then.

Following the trend, Ms. Stefanik has outspent Ms. Cobb significantly as well. Just over the last month, Ms. Stefanik’s campaign spent $350,743 while Ms. Cobb’s campaign spent $140,508. Over the entirety of this election, Ms. Stefanik has spent $3.8 million, while Ms. Cobb has spent $1.2 million.

The Stefanik campaign has sent a significant amount of money to other candidates and races around the country, nearly $60,000 over the course of this year. This quarter, the Elise for Congress committee, which is the primary committee for Ms. Stefanik’s re-election campaign, sent $4,000 to President Trump’s re-election committee. The Cobb campaign has only sent funds to one other political organization, sending $3,100 to the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence in March.

Both candidates have millions left in the bank before November’s election, but Ms. Stefanik has widened the gap between herself and Ms. Cobb, and there’s no indication she will slow down. In recent weeks, multiple news sources have weighed the possibility that Ms. Stefanik will seek a statewide or national office. In a Forbes article released the day of the Tulsa rally, the idea that President Trump may pick Ms. Stefanik for vice president was floated. In the Wall Street Journal article about her campaign finances published Sunday, Ms. Stefanik did not discount the possibility of running for a state office.

You can read the full article at https://www.nny360.com