Queens congressional race has a clear cash winner

Democratic congressional candidate Grace Meng raised more than half a million dollars during the past three months, or close to 10 times more than her opponent.

Assemblymember Grace Meng has raised more than $500,000 in the final months of her campaign for Congress. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

Meng, a state assemblywoman from Queens, received $527,917 in campaign contributions from July to September, according to quarterly campaign finance disclosures filed Monday with the Federal Election Commission. The new funds bring her contributions total to $1,440,732. Her opponent in Queens’ newly redrawn Congressional District 6, Republican city Councilman Dan Halloran, raised $55,597 in the same time period, bringing his total to $74,512.

“Yet again, it’s one of many ways the Grace Meng campaign has proven that Dan Halloran is not a competitive candidate and not a viable choice,” Meng spokesman Austin Finan said on Tuesday. “His paltry fundraising numbers are reflective of the fact that no one is giving him a chance in this race.”

Halloran’s campaign spokesman did not return calls for comment Tuesday afternoon.

Meng received one-fifth of her contributions from national and state political action committees. The late fundraising push leaves Meng with a comfortable lead in cash on hand a month before the general election, with $409,821 compared to Halloran’s $23,282.

Meng got $115,800 from political action committees between July and October, more than double the $48,750 she received from PACs during the past two quarters. Several Democratic campaigns from New York and other states also contributed to Meng’s cause, including committees of New York state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and several sitting U.S. representatives, from South Carolina to California.

The PACs contributing to Meng include financial services groups such as Pricewaterhouse Coopers, the Nasdaq OMX Group and JP Morgan Chase. Pro-choice women’s groups also pitched in, along with teachers, plumbers and food industry workers’ unions.

Meng has spent more on political consultants and direct mailings in the past three months than Halloran has raised throughout his seven-month campaign. Finan said he expects the Meng campaign to focus its remaining resources on direct mailings, calling its get-out-the-vote network of volunteers “self-sufficient.”

Meng spent $297,765 from July to September, mainly on staff payroll and consulting firms. She spent $30,000 on press and fundraising consulting from Hudson TG, a political consultant firm based in Manhattan, and just under $40,000 for direct mail consulting from Red Horse Strategies, a political firm with offices in Brooklyn. She spent an additional $30,803 on direct mail consulting from Kennedy Communications, based in Washington, D.C.

Halloran’s largest expenditure was $3,000 to Nonna’s Pizzeria for catering, according to his filing. He also spent $2,500 for campaign management from Paul Gullo, fundraising consulting from Ryan Miller, and $2,000 to a firm called Ballot Consulting.

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