At the end of 2023, Democrats in several key competitive House districts outraised their Republican opponents as the Party seeks to flip as many as six seats blue.
On Long Island, Nancy Goroff, a scientist who served as the chair of Stony Brook University’s chemistry department, raised over $605,000 since she announced her candidacy for the 1st Congressional District in October. That’s roughly twice what Republican incumbent Rep. Nick LaLota raised in the last quarter of 2023, who brought in $343,000, although he has raised more than Goroff since the electoral cycle began. He has brought in over $1.6 million since the start of the cycle, a figure that includes roughly $442,000 transferred from former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s Protect the House PAC and LaLota’s own PAC.
Goroff isn’t a first time candidate, having won a competitive primary in 2020 to run against incumbent then-Rep. Lee Zeldin. He won by a comfortable margin that year, and Goroff chose not to run for the seat again when Zeldin ran for governor in 2022. This year, she will compete in a Democratic primary against former state Sen. James Gaughran, congressional staffer Kyle Hill and Craig Herskowitz, a former assistant counsel for former Gov. Andrew Cuomo. None have raised as much as either Goroff or LaLota.
In the Hudson Valley, both Mondaire Jones, running in the 17th Congressional District, and Josh Riley, running in the 19th District, outraised their Republican incumbent opponents. Jones raised over $980,000 in the last quarter in 2023. Rep. Mike Lawler, whom Jones is running against, raised over $650,000 in the same period. Lawler still leads in the overall money game compared to Jones, having brought in $3.3 million since the start of the cycle. But Jones isn’t far behind strictly in fundraising. Without the large transfers from McCarthy’s Protect the House PAC and Lawler’s own PAC, he has raised just under $2.3 million in total, while Jones has so far raised over $2.1 million, which includes a $13,400 transfer from his own PAC.
Riley also bested Rep. Molinaro last quarter after reporting over $715,000 in contributions. Molinaro raised about $384,000 in the same period. Riley also holds the overall fundraising edge over Molinaro if one doesn’t include a sizable series of transfers from McCarthy’s Protect the House PAC. Riley has raised a little over $2 million since the start of the cycle, while Molinaro has brought in over $1.7 million. He only beats Riley out with the transfer that brings his total up to just under $2.2 million.
Republicans outraised their Democratic challengers in two other competitive districts, where Democrats will also first compete in a primary. In Long Island’s 4th Congressional District, incumbent Republican Rep. Anthony D’Esposito raised $290,000 last quarter. Former Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen came the closest, having raised $252,000. And state Sen. Kevin Thomas, who is giving up his seat to run for Congress, trailed with $141,000. Both Democrats will first face off in a June primary to decide who will take on D’Esposito, which puts them at a monetary disadvantage compared to some of their high-raising Democratic colleagues who don’t need to spend on two races.
In Central New York, Rep. Brandon Williams outraised the Democrats looking to replace him in the 22nd Congressional District by a considerable amount. He brought in a little over $301,000 last quarter, far more than veteran and local town council member Sarah Klee Hood, who raised just over $237,000. State Sen. John Mannion, who like Thomas is giving up his seat to run for Congress, raised about $155,000. They will also compete with others in a Democratic primary to determine who will take on Williams in November.
Correction: This story originally misstated the origins of transfers into LaLota’s campaign account, the amount transferred and his total cycle-to-date fundraising. The story has also been updated to reflect fundraising totals for LaLota and Lawler last quarter that includes money raised through their PACs for the campaign they transferred over.