Campaigns & Elections

Rep. Carolyn Maloney loans her campaign nearly $1 million in the race for the 12th Congressional District

Maloney has more money to spend than Jerry Nadler and Suraj Patel combined ahead of the Aug. 23 Democratic primary.

 Rep. Carolyn Maloney personally poured nearly $1 million into her reelection campaign.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney personally poured nearly $1 million into her reelection campaign. Santiago Felipe/Getty Images

Rep. Carolyn Maloney personally poured nearly $1 million into her reelection campaign , leaving her with more money to spend than Rep. Jerry Nadler and challenger Suraj Patel combined ahead of the high profile Manhattan primary between longtime incumbents. 

Maloney confirmed in a statement released Saturday that she loaned $900,000 to her campaign from her “retirement savings.” 

“I take every race seriously – including when it was announced that the Republican challenged district lines would change, along with a new primary election date of August 23, and worse that I would be drawn into a primary against my colleague,” she said, referring to the redistricting process that pitted her and Nadler against each other in the 12th Congressional District and delayed both the Congressional and state Senate primaries until August. 

Maloney’s contribution is listed as a “loan” to her campaign, meaning she is eligible to be repaid by her campaign committee. But campaign loans are often effectively just donations that do not get paid back. FEC records show Maloney previously loaned her campaign $300,000 during the 2020 election cycle. She has only reported repaying $50,000 of that total, so far. Maloney is one of the wealthiest members of the House of Representatives based on disclosure reports, with a net worth of approximately $13 million in 2018, according to campaign finance website Open Secrets. 

Second quarter filings were due to the Federal Election Commission on Friday, showing where candidates are getting money from, and how they’re spending it, less than a month before early voting begins on Aug. 13. 

Maloney has brought in $2.9 million since January 2021, not including the loan, including $594,000 in the last three months alone. Her campaign says donations this cycle have come from 6,000 contributors. The eastsider has  spent a total of $1.8 million on her reelection campaign so far, including  $540,000 in the second quarter, leaving her with slightly more than $2 million on hand.

Nadler, meanwhile, has brought in $1.4 million in total donations since January 2021, including $520,834 in the last three months. The westsider spent $829,000, including $134,000 from April through June. He now has $1.2 million in cash on hand. 

A spokesperson for Nadler did not mention Maloney’s personal loan in a statement that expressed confidence in his ability to finance a successful campaign.

“Our campaign has generated incredible grassroots excitement – we have the resources we need to run a campaign that’ll talk to every voter,” Julian Gerson said. “We’re incredibly humbled that thousands of supporters have delivered Jerry the funds he needs to discuss his record of leadership with New Yorkers and win in August.”

Without Maloney’s loan, the candidates raised similar amounts from April through June, with Maloney collecting $594,000 and Nadler bringing in $518,000.

Another contender in the Democratic primary race, ex-Obama aide Suraj Patel, wasn’t far behind. Patel, who unsuccessfully challenged Maloney in the last two primaries, raised $460,000 in the second quarter, spent $441,000 and reported having $563,000 on hand. The fourth candidate on the ballot, Ashmi Sheth, reported raising less than $5,000 and has just $485 left on hand.

In a statement, Patel attacked the incumbents, saying they are “desperate to hold onto their seats.” 

"That's why they first tried to gerrymander their own lines to avoid competition, and now it's why they are both raking in corporate PAC money, and why Carolyn Maloney loaned herself nearly a million dollars,” Patel said. “Nadler and Maloney can't buy this election because our message is already resonating with voters who are fed up with the status quo, looking to the future and ready to turn the page with fresh ideas, new energy, and a new case for New York values.”

Read our 2022 congressional primaries coverage here.

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