Stefanik’s fundraising effort leads challengers by wide margin at start of election year

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Rep. Elise Stefanik. NCPR File Photo: Zach Hirsch

North Country incumbent Elise Stefanik has a head start in fundraising over a group of challengers that includes a Republican and several Democrats.

The Elise campaign for Congress had more than $3 million in cash at year’s end, according to federal election information.

This is more than ten times the amount held by any of Stefanik’s challengers.

The four-term MP has consistently brought in just over $1 million per quarter throughout 2021.

Current financial information only covers 2021 activities and therefore does not reflect the impact of a January fundraiser with former President Donald Trump. Stefanik claimed to have raised over $3 million from this event alone.

The congresswoman skipped a House session to attend the fundraiser, citing “the ongoing public health emergency” in an official memo.

Among Stefanik’s Democratic challengers, fundraising performance varies widely.

Former CIA officer Matt Castelli has the most cash on hand, with around $289,000 in his war chest.

However, attorney Matthew Putorti wasn’t far behind and topped his fellow Democrats, generating $533,000 to Castelli’s $442,000 in 2021.

Former Olympian Bridie Farrell came in third, with nearly $248,000 in donations.

Stefanik’s main Republican challenger, Lonny Koons, and Democrat Ezra Watson each raised less than $10,000.

The party’s primaries will be held on June 28, leaving four full months of campaigning before the November general election.

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