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Campaign contributions to Gov. Andrew Cuomo plunged more than 40 percent amid his recent rash of scandals, official Board of Elections filings showed Friday — as his likely Republican challenger far outraised him in half the time.
Cuomo raised less than $2.3 million during the six months that ended Sunday, compared to almost $4 million during the six months that ended Jan. 11, according to campaign finance documents posted online.
But Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Long Island) raked in nearly $4.1 million since declaring his candidacy on April 8.
Zeldin, who was named the GOP’s “presumptive nominee” following a straw poll of Republican leaders late last month, said he received contributions from more than 9,000, with money pouring in from each of the state’s 62 counties.
Zeldin — a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump — also said that 94 percent of the donations were in amounts of $250 or less.
“New Yorkers are fired up and passionately all in to Save our State, and they’re taking action,” he said in a prepared statement.
“They know Cuomo’s Gotta Go, and it’s going to take a new generation of leadership to get the job done.”
Despite his fundraising edge, Zeldin’s total war chest of $3.2 million on hand after expenditures is dwarfed by Cuomo’s, which is nearly $18.3 million.
The 43 percent decline in contributions to Cuomo came as he battles allegations that he sexually harassed a series of current and former female aides, about which he’s set to be grilled Saturday by outside lawyers hired by state Attorney General Letitia James.
The three-term Democrat is also under investigation by federal authorities over the state’s nursing home death toll from COVID-19 and his $5.1 million pandemic memoir, and he’s facing a wide-ranging impeachment probe by the state Assembly’s Judiciary Committee.
Cuomo — who has denied any misconduct — still managed to score hefty contributions last month from supermarket magnate and former Republican mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis, who gave $25,000, and former HBO CEO Michael Fuchs, who donated $35,000.
The Greenberg Traurig law firm, which is also a major state lobbyist, and its political action committee made five donations that totaled more than $57,000 and media mogul Barry Diller contributed $22,600 on Jan. 20.
Meanwhile, Catsimatidis also gave $10,000 to Zeldin, who got $50,000 from real-estate mogul and former Post publisher Peter Kalikow.
Other Zeldin mega-donors include hedge-fund billionaire John Paulson, who gave the maximum allowed — $60,829 — as did others including private-equity investor Thomas McInerney and hedge-funder John Thaler and his wife, Bonnie.
Zeldin also plowed more than $460,000 from his congressional campaign account into his gubernatorial effort.
Former Republican US Sen. Al D’Amato, who represented New York from 1981 through 1999, said Zeldin was “off to a good start, but he’s got a long way to go.”
“I’m sure Gov. Cuomo is not going to take this election for granted,” he said.
“I wouldn’t sell Cuomo short and anybody who does is making a mistake.”
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