Albany Agenda

Molinaro opponent touts $1.4 million first quarter fundraising haul

Democrat Josh Riley is attempting to unseat the Republican rep.

NY-19 candidate Josh Riley

NY-19 candidate Josh Riley Josh Riley campaign

19th Congressional District candidate Josh Riley says he’s feeling pretty good about his fundraising totals for the first quarter of 2024. The numbers come seven months out from what promises to be a closely watched and very expensive rematch between Riley and Republican Rep. Marc Molinaro, and the race may have national implications.  

Riley’s campaign reports raising $1.37 million this quarter, bringing their fundraising total this cycle to $3.4 million, with $2.48 million cash on hand. His campaign also said that their average contribution was $73. Last quarter, Riley reported raising about $700,000.

“I spent a lot of time over the last couple of months just knocking on doors and talking to voters, and what we're seeing is a lot of grassroots momentum here,” Riley said. “And I think it's because people see a real difference between Marc Molinaro and me.”

Molinaro, based out of Catskill, has not released his fundraising totals ahead of the April 15 Federal Election Commission deadline. This is the second time Riley is running against Molinaro, who previously served as Dutchess County executive and Tivoli mayor. However, the New York GOP is clearly focused on raising cash, bringing in Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Thursday night for the New York state Republican Committee gala, although many identify him as an architect of New York’s migrant crisis after he bussed asylum-seekers to New York City. 

He added that this closely contested campaign had greater significance in Democratic politics. As the House’s GOP ranks slowly diminish through resignations, a good election for New York Democrats in November could make House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries speaker. 

However Molinaro’s campaign was less focused on Riley’s fundraising than it was an allegation he improperly took money from an organization in violation of campaign finance regulations. The Riley campaign has denied wrongdoing.   

"DC Insider Josh Riley got paid $30,000 to run for Congress again,” said Molinaro campaign manager Matt Organ in a statement. “He broke the law and just wants to brush it under the rug. This is hugely problematic. Josh has taken no accountability, answered zero questions about it, and won't return the money. Living in DC for his entire adult life has corrupted him."