ITHACA, N.Y. — The election may be more than a year away, but campaigning for New York’s 23rd Congressional seat is well underway. Republican Congressman Tom Reed has raised about 15 times that of returning Democratic candidate, Tracy Mitrano, in the first three months of 2019, but his campaign has raised less than at the same point in the 2017-18 election cycle. 

In Federal Elections Commission filings made Monday evening by Reed’s campaign reported receiving $347,220 in contributions — including individual donations, Political Action Committee contributions and transfers — between Jan. 1, 2019 and March 31, 2019. Mitrano lagged behind with $22,913 in contributions during the same time period.

Despite his strong showing in comparison to Mitrano this year, at the same point two years ago, Reed had raised around $585,000.

“This is a function of timing,” Abbey Daugherty, communications director for Tom Reed for Congress, said in a statement to The Ithaca Voice. “Many of our major supporter events this cycle are taking place later. We are very encouraged by the high level of early enthusiasm for the campaign.”

In the first quarter of 2017, Reed had received $309,200 from PACs, compared to the $124,750 he has received this year. In 2017, he received $275,745 from individual donations during the first quarter and less than half of that, $185,435, during the same period in 2019. Reed raises funds between several different committees associated with his campaigns including Tom Reed for Congress and The Reed Victory Committee.

Of Mitrano’s first quarter 2019 fundraising, $17,787 was from individual donors, but $6,380 of that was unitemized as of the initial filing. None of her funds came from PACs during that time.

“Even though it’s very early in the cycle, our campaign continues to enjoy widespread support throughout the district,” Mitrano said in a statement to The Ithaca Voice. “We are very honored to be able to continue our work on behalf of the people in the 23rd.”

On Monday, Mitrano also submitted updated versions of all of her filings from 2018, which made various changes, mostly relatively small, to contributions and expenditures in all six reports. One of these changes was a date change on the receipt of a $10,000 loan from Mitrano personally to her campaign. The original filings show that the loan was received on June 5, 2018, the day before the cutoff for filing before primary day. Yesterday’s updated filings show that the campaign in fact received the loan a week later. Mitrano told the Ithaca Voice she brought on a new firm to help with FEC compliance which made the changes.

Mitrano narrowly won a crowded primary election in 2018 but lost to Reed in the general election by about 8.4 points. She declared the following week that she would run again in 2020, and is the only Democrat to announce candidacy so far. Reed is running for reelection for what would be his sixth full term in Congress.

Vaughn Golden

Vaughn Golden is a freelance radio and print reporter covering politics around the southern tier and central New York. He authors the weekly "Capitol Watch" watchdog report on Ithaca's representatives...