By MATT SPIELMAN and GAVIN PATERNITI
Special to the OBSERVER
The campaign committees for Chautauqua County’s two candidates for county executive were each able to raise more than $24,000 to add to their election coffers according to campaign finance reports released Oct. 4.
The Committee to Elect Vince Horrigan Chautauqua County Executive came into the period with $12,812 and was able to add $32,890 during the period leading up to the final month before the election. Horrigan’s committee has also spent $32,272 and enters the final month with $13,430 before any new contributions.
“As we look forward to the election, the intense period of October, we’ll continue to be reaching out to our supporters and welcoming their financial support,” Horrigan said. “We have pretty much set our spending plans in place, so they’re all pretty much covered. However, we will be increasing our advertising as we near the actual election.”
The Committee to Elect Ron Johnson also had a good month of fundraising, adding $24,453 to its previous total of $13,751. Johnson’s campaign has spent $33,671 to date and enters the final month with $4,532 from which to build.
“Raising money is always difficult,” said Norm Green, Chautauqua County Democratic Committee chairman.
“The candidate that raised serious money for the Democratic Committee was Mark Thomas. He was in the six-figure range as far as money raised, and he was quite successful at it.”
Candidates for county clerk were also able to build their campaign accounts to more than $10,000 each during the month.
The Committee to Elect Larry Barmore reported $11,294 in new money to add to its previous total of $1,395. Barmore’s campaign also spent $10,547 during the period and enters the final month with $4,342 prior to any more contributions.
“I have ongoing fundraising efforts,” Barmore said. “I have one more public meet-and-greet fundraiser and some sponsors who told me they’d be giving me money here in the last month. So you’ll see me on TV, hear me on the radio and see my ads in the newspaper.”
Friends of Lori Cornell, which came into the month with $7,332, added $9,546 to its total. Cornell’s campaign spent $2,411, leaving it with $14,467 in addition to any new contributions during the final month.
“Like other aspects of an aggressive campaign, I’ve been working hard and will continue to work hard to raise funds,” Cornell said. “I have many bills left to be paid and several expenses still forthcoming, so for any supporters out there, I truly appreciate your further financial, and any other, support and donations you are will to lend to the campaign.
The Chautauqua County Republican Committee, which contributes to many candidates’ campaigns, reported $15,340 to add to its previous total of $5,044, while the Chautauqua County Republican Chairman’s Club added $100 to its previous balance of $7,317.
“I don’t know specific dollar amounts, but we’ll continue to raise money right up through the election,” Horrigan said. “We will make sure we get our message out through all of the appropriate media.”
The Chautauqua County Democratic Committee brought in $2,250 in new money to add to $3,102, which it had prior to this period.
“It’s always easier for an incumbent and in a lot of ways Vince Horrigan is the incumbent,” Green said. “The county executive is coming to his defense and the county executive is helping him raise money way beyond what the county can do. A non-incumbent committee always has a tougher time. Vince Horrigan certainly seems to have all of the advantages that an incumbent would normally have.”
Current District 21 county legislature representative David Himelein, who is running for the newly created District 18 in November’s election added $1,727 to his campaign account while current District 25 legislator William Coughlin, running for the new District 3, ended the period with $2,902 in his account. Sharon Lisciandro, a challenger in legislative District 10 added $725, while Terry Niebel, a challenger in legislative District 5 added $500 to his account.
The Jamestown City Democratic Committee added $1,400 to its previous balance of $529 while the Town of Busti Republican Committee added $150 to its $786 during the period.
The 32-day pre-general election reports cover the period from July 17 through Sept. 30 for candidates not involved in a primary election or Sept. 17-30 for those candidates who were involved in a primary election.
All campaign finance reports are available online at www.elections.ny.gov/CampaignFinance.html
The next report due, the 11-day pre-general report, covering the period Oct. 1 through Oct. 21 is due to be filed by Oct. 25.
“This is a critical next four weeks in terms of fundraising,” Cornell said. “I think campaigns, even in Chautauqua County, are increasingly expensive. It costs tens of thousands of dollars to run a successful campaign.”