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Report: Southold Republicans outpace Dems in campaign cash

The Southold Republican Committee has raised more than its Democratic counterpart leading into this year’s town elections in November, keeping in line with recent fundraising trends in the town.

Democratic committee chairman Art Tillman said the Republican Party historically out-finances his own party and outspends them by at least 2-1.

“When you have one party that has dominated Town Hall for so long, it seems gift-givers are far more inclined to donate to that party,” Mr. Tillman said.

In a year without a supervisor’s race and with many incumbents in Southold seeking re-election, contribution rates differ greatly from neighboring Riverhead Town, where campaign cash raised for a single candidate rivals that of both Southold committees.

In Riverhead, individual Republican candidates raised and spent more than their Democratic opponents and the committees in that town. Supervisor Sean Walter, who is seeking re-election, raised $43,890 this year, followed by Councilwoman Jodi Giglio at $24,545 and the Republican committee, which was given $21,557, according to the two reports issued this year.

Southold Republican Committee chair Peter McGreevy said the Southold and Riverhead Republicans committees are different in that fundraising is done through the organization in Southold, not by individual candidates.

The Southold Republican Committee started 2017 with a January balance of $18,934. Since then, the party has raised another $24,525 in contributions and spent $25,804, leaving a balance of $17,743, according to its July disclosure report. However, Mr. McGreevy said that to date, the committee has over $35,000 on hand including recent checks for its August fundraiser.

“We have a healthy fund balance and that directly reflects the support on the part in the town,” Mr. McGreevy said.

The group’s largest contribution from a business came from Corazzini Asphalt in Cutchogue for $1,500, according to the July report. Its largest individual gift is $825 from Eugene Daly, president and CEO of L.K. McLean Associates, P.C., an engineering and surveying firm.

The Southold Democratic Committee started 2017 with a balance of $1,358. The committee raised a total $24,263 and spent $26,582, according to its two disclosure reports issued this year. Its closing balance in the latest report is -$930. The committee has its major fundraising event at the end of August, Mr. Tillman said.

The Democratic committee’s biggest individual gift was $180 from a Mattituck resident.

The campaign group Friends of Mary Eisenstein raised $250 so far this year in a single contribution from her husband; Ms. Eisenstein was a candidate for Town Board in 2013. That figure was added to a starting balance of $139. She spent $163 of those funds, leaving a balance of $226, according to a July report.

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File photo: The Southold Town Republican Committee announced a 2017 election slate in May. (Credit: Kelly Zegers)