The Democrat contender in this month’s closely watched special election for Congress in New York has surpassed his GOP opponent in fundraising and spending by more than a three-to-one margin, according to newly released filings.
Former Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.) raised a substantial $4.5 million from October 1 of the previous year through January 24, as reported in filings with the Federal Election Commission.
This figure significantly outpaces the $1.3 million raised by GOP nominee Mazi Pilip during the same period. Suozzi’s financial advantage has provided Democrats with a considerable edge in the advertising arena leading up to the February 13 special election.
In addition to fundraising, Suozzi outspent Pilip, with expenditures amounting to $2.4 million compared to Pilip’s $714,000 by January 24. As of last Wednesday, Suozzi still retained a higher cash balance for the final stretch of the race, with $2.2 million on hand compared to Pilip’s $629,000, as per the filings.
The considerable financial advantage held by Suozzi is part of a broader trend of Democrats outspending Republicans in the lead-up to the special election.
Overall, Democrats have allocated or reserved $9.8 million for advertising, as reported by AdImpact, in contrast to Republicans’ $6.2 million. Considering candidates typically pay less for television ads than outside groups, Suozzi’s superior financial position accentuates Democrats’ TV ad advantage.
As is customary in high-profile special elections, both Suozzi and Pilip received numerous contributions from potential House colleagues, including members of leadership.
In December, House Speaker Mike Johnson’s leadership PAC, American Revival PAC, contributed $5,000 to Pilip’s campaign, while House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ campaign made donations to Suozzi.
The vacancy in the New York congressional seat arose when former Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) was expelled in December due to charges of fraud and campaign finance violations.
Party leaders in Queens, New York City, and Nassau County on Long Island selected Suozzi and Pilip as their candidates, setting the stage for a swift sprint to the special election.
A Suozzi victory would further diminish the already modest Republican majority in the House and provide Democrats with a boost amid concerns over President Joe Biden’s poll numbers. On the other hand, a Pilip win would suggest that the GOP’s emphasis on immigration and crime resonates strongly in New York City’s outer boroughs and nearby suburbs.
Regardless of the election’s outcome, Democrats in Albany are expected to undertake a mid-decade redistricting before the November general election, aiming to reconfigure downstate congressional districts and potentially flip two or three of Long Island’s four seats.