Long Island

First-time state Senate candidate raises over half a million dollars

Kim Keiserman has raised over $579,000 – mostly from the state’s matching funds program.

Kim Keiserman (center) rallies with supporters at her campaign kickoff in Manhasset on Jan. 23, 2024.

Kim Keiserman (center) rallies with supporters at her campaign kickoff in Manhasset on Jan. 23, 2024. Kim Keiserman for state Senate

The latest fundraising totals for state races are starting to trickle in, and a first-time candidate on Long Island is posting eye-popping numbers thanks to matching funds. State Senate candidate Kim Keiserman reported raising a total of $579,612, the most of any Senate candidate. Keiserman is one of a number of Democrats trying to flip the 7th Senate District, which is currently held by Republican Jack Martins.

More than $351,000 of Keiserman’s total fundraising haul came from the state’s matching funds program, which she credited with boosting her campaign.

“I am a first-time candidate, and a lot of my donors are first-time donors, so I would say that in my case, the system has really achieved its goal,” she told City & State. “It's enabled us to bring more people into the fold and really create a very Democratic campaign, and it really has enabled us to demonstrate the power of our campaign to mobilize grassroots support.”

Keiserman, the head of the Port Washington Democrats, is running against public policy academic Brad Schwartz for the Democratic nomination. Schwartz has reported raising $282,711 so far. Whoever wins the primary will face Martins in the general election in November.

Keiserman is already looking ahead to this fall. She is bullish about her chances in the primary and said that her plan is to roll a good chunk of money into her general election campaign.

“We're working our hardest and taking nothing for granted, but I think it will also enable us to build momentum and come out of the primary with strength, able to carry our message forward,” she said. “And that's really what the important thing is.”

“We all have sights on flipping the seat in November,” she added. “That's what this is all about.”