U.S. Rep. Tom Reed’s campaign raised slightly more than his challenger in the third quarter, but Penn Yan’s Tracy Mitrano raised almost twice as much from individual donors, according to federal elections reports filed Thursday.
According to the reports, the incumbent Corning Republican’s campaign received $587,093 between July 1 and Sept. 30, while the two-time Democratic challenger’s campaign raised $485,629.50, plus $100,475 more through a second committee.
The Federal Election Commission website did not have any reports on Andrew Kolstee, the Libertarian candidate appearing on the ballot for the seat.
Matt Coker, spokesperson for the Reed campaign, criticized the numbers provided by Mitrano’s camp on Oct. 5 as lower than those reported to the FEC — which Mitrano officials said was due to the use of two committees.
In the Oct. 5 press release, the Mitrano campaign reported that “nearly $600,000” was raised, while the FEC report for the campaign shows $485,732.96. In addition, the release stated that $1.38 million has been raised for the entire election cycle, while the FEC shows total contributions of $1.22 million.
“Tracy’s campaign is broke and she’s lying to voters about it, proving yet again we can’t trust Tracy,” Coker said.
However, Mitrano’s campaign reported that an affiliated group, the Tracy Mitrano Victory Fund, made up the difference cited by Coker.
“The Mitrano campaign has two fundraising vehicles: Tracy Mitrano for Congress, and the Mitrano Victory Fund; FEC reports were filed for both,” said Mitrano campaign spokesman Claudia Wheatley, with the Oct. 5 press release indicating the total was for both groups.
“The Mitrano Victory Fund is an authorized committee of our campaign,” Wheatley said. “The Reed campaign only looked at Tracy Mitrano for Congress. The campaign reported to the FEC that the Mitrano Victory Fund had raised an additional $100,475 for the same period. The total reported (for both groups) is $585,475.”
According to the filing for the Mitrano Victory Fund, that group disbursed $66,500 to “affiliated committees” in the quarter and accrued around $1,900 in operating expenses, out of $100,475 raised by individual donors.
As for the types of donations, Mitrano’s campaign has received more of its funds from individuals than Reed’s campaign, while Reed’s has received more from groups like Political Action Committees.
Almost 96% of contributions to Mitrano’s campaign — $464,000 — were from individuals, while 4.02% came from other committees such as PACs, and $2,000 came from political party committees.
Meanwhile, Reed’s campaign received 56% of its donations for the quarter from PACs — $331,150 — while 43%, or around $253,000, came from individuals. Reed’s campaign noted that the individual contributions were a record for the campaign this election cycle.
MITRANO ALSO has filed formal complaints with the FEC and the Federal Communications Commission in regard to a Reed campaign TV ad she says defames her character. Mitrano has also sent cease and desist letters asking stations to stop airing it.
Mitrano’s campaign states that Reed “extrapolated” her stance as anti-police, a charge Mitrano denies, and notes no sources were included in the ad. The ad is no longer listed on YouTube, but can still be accessed with a direct link.
“Extrapolation is not a defense to defamation. Truth is,” said Mitrano, who noted having police officers in her family, “there is no truth to his claim.”
Mitrano also criticized the rhetoric and vandalism targeted at Democrats in the campaign.
“From his baseless attacks and violent commercial, it’s clear that Tom Reed has gone back to the anything-goes political fights that voters hate,” she added. “Instead of sharing our respective records and ideas, Tom Reed offers false and hateful rhetoric, and his supporters take drastic action. Individuals around the district are being arrested for stealing Democratic campaign signs.”
The Yates County Sheriff’s Office arrested two men in Penn Yan last week after they were allegedly caught stealing 25 Democratic signs, including Mitrano’s. Another incident was reported in Schuyler County.
Meanwhile, an investigation continues into an incident in Corning, where someone threw a brick through Reed’s campaign headquarters in September. This week, several eggs were reported to have been thrown at the local Republican election headquarters in Olean.
The Reed campaign last week indicated that the ad would remain on the air.
“Tracy is trying to deflect from her dangerous record on law and order,” Coker said in response to Mitrano’s cease and desist order.
“We believe it’s important voters know her record of supporting Gov. (Andrew) Cuomo’s dangerous bail reform, which releases violent criminals back onto our streets and of radical efforts to cut police funding. This record is based on her own words, and they prove that voters can’t trust Tracy to keep them safe,” Coker said.