Albany Agenda

Josh Riley reports hefty fundraising haul against Marc Molinaro

The Democrat is touting small donations as he tries for the second time to defeat the popular Dutchess County Republican.

Democratic congressional candidate Josh Riley

Democratic congressional candidate Josh Riley Josh Riley campaign

Josh Riley, the Democratic candidate for the 19th Congressional District, shared with City & State that he raised $696,556 in the fourth quarter of 2023. He said the lion's share came from small donations. 

Riley is taking on Republican Rep. Marc Molinaro for the second time after losing to him in 2022. The Hudson Valley seat is one Democrats are targeting in their effort to take back the House, and the latest redistricting effort could make it more favorable to them. Riley outraised Molinaro in the previous quarter with $572,000.

Riley is framing himself as a grassroots alternative to Molinaro, former Dutchess County executive and gubernatorial candidate who has held elected office since he was 19. According to Riley’s campaign, $428,170 of recent receipts have come from donations of $1,000 or less. 

“Look at that weekend where Marc Molinaro was sitting in a room with people who are paying $100,000 bucks a plate to shake hands with the Speaker of the House, down on Wall Street, and in the same weekend, I met with a group of folks in a dining room in Tompkins County, a bunch of folks at a community center in Homer, somebody's living room with 20-25 people in Oneonta,” said Riley. 

Molinaro’s recent fundraising numbers weren’t made available, but according to the Federal Elections Commission, he’s outraised Riley so far as of the most recent filings. The Catskills Republican raised $1.7 million as of September to Riley’s $1.3 million and had $1.3 million cash in hand compared to Riley, who had a little over $1 million. 

FEC filings show Molinaro pulling in $793,548 in donations over $2,000 compared to Riley’s $541,000. 

The Hudson Valley being chock full of swing districts national interest will color the race as Democrats and Republicans vie for control of Congress. 

Molinaro was not immediately available for comment, but David Catalfamo, an adviser to his campaign, did share a statement highlighting one particular donor. 

“Josh Riley should return all the money he raised from disgraced sexual harasser Al Franken,” he said.