Incumbent state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) has solidified a strong fund-raising lead over her two Democratic primary challengers, but her lone Conservative opponent has not filed the most recent required financial disclosure form with the state Board of Elections.
Stavisky also has spent far less than her opponents on her campaign so far.
Democratic challenger John Messer has surged in recent weeks, pulling in more than $100,000 in the period between his July and August campaign filings.
Stavisky is running against Democrat Isaac Sasson, a New York Lottery-winning millionaire from Flushing who ran and lost in last year’s race for former City Councilman John Liu’s seat, which eventually went to Peter Koo (R-Flushing); Messer, an Oakland Gardens lawyer and first-time candidate for elected office; and Conservative Robert Schwartz, who has kept a low profile in the race.
Stavisky had a total of $268,167 in her campaign coffers in mid-August, when she filed a campaign finance report.
Sasson has reported no contributions in his self-financed bid, so his campaign had $235,324, while Messer had $84,182 in his campaign chest as of mid-August.
Schwartz failed to submit the pre-primary report earlier this month, but his campaign had just $10 as of July, according to a finance report he filed that month.
Messer had $57,612 as of his July filing and he has since received $109,995, according to his mid-August filing.
Sasson did not report any contributions in that time period and Schwartz did not file this month.
Stavisky’s largest contributors were the Service Employees International Union and the New York Podiatry PAC, which each gave $10,000 to the candidate.
The Lawpac political action committee and Henry Van Amerigen each gave her $9,500, according to her campaign finance disclosures. A major contributor to liberal groups and Democratic campaigns throughout the country, Van Amerigen is president and treasurer of the Van Amerigen Foundation Inc. and an heir to Arnold Louis van Amerigen, founder of the International Flavors and Fragrances Co.
Friends of Mike Gianaris contributed $6,000 to her campaign, and the New York State Optometric Association and New York State Laborers’ PAC having given $5,000 each.
The largest contributor to the Messer campaign thus far has been the candidate himself, who has injected $197,350 of his own money into his campaign since May 24, according to campaign finance disclosures.
Nearly all of Messer’s other contributions have come from individuals. He has received a total of $17,650 from people with the last name Hui, as well as $6,000 from his wife, Wendy Hui-Messer.
Sasson is self-financing his entire campaign.
Stavisky’s campaign has spent about $14,947 since April. Her largest expenditure was a $3,336 payment to the Parkside Group for literature. The Parkside Group is a New York lobbying group of which her son is a partner.
Her campaign’s second-largest expenditure was $975 to Parkside Printing for petitions. Her other largest expenses have been payments for Verizon service, advertising and a number of relatively inexpensive fund-raisers.
Messer’s campaign has spent $198,720 since April, $96,750 of which went to consulting fees. The vast majority of consulting spending went to Promotional Strategies, a political firm which Messer recently stopped using, sources close to the candidate say.
Messer’s campaign has paid Promotional Strategies $109,864 since April for a variety of services, including consulting, printing and more. During that period the campaign spent $45,136 on printing and $33,393 on petitioning.
Sasson’s largest expenditure was a $27,580 payment to a New York-based entity labeled only as Yakov Sene Aug. 7 for “other.”
Sasson also paid $39,175 to GSP Consulting Group Inc. for consulting, petitioning and wages.
Sasson also paid $5,400 for petitioning to F&T Management and Parking Corp. and $1,800 for rental services to F&T Management. F&T Group, of which the two entities are subsidiaries, recently gained approval from the Council for an $850 million mixed-development project slated to be built in downtown Flushing.