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Money In Politics:

Sean Ryan’s major campaign contributors

Published October 21, 2020

State Assembly Member Sean Ryan is running as a Democrat in the Nov. 3 general election to succeed Chris Jacobs in the State Senate’s 60th District. Here’s what Ken Kruly, Investigative Post researcher and publisher of Politics and Other Stuff, found in his review of Ryan’s campaign contributions reported through October 2.

The numbers: Ryan’s largest donors

International Union of Operating Engineers $15,000 Union
American Federation of State, County, Municipal Employees $11,800 Union
Voices for Teachers for Education $11,800 Union
New York State Painters and Tapers $11,000 Union
Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters $10,000 Union
Communication Workers of America $10,000 Union
Service Employees International Union $10,000 Union
United Steel Workers $7,500 Union
State Street Associates $7,500 Lobbyist
Brown & Weintraub $7,000 Lobbyist
Joel Weinberger $5,000 Unknown
Howard Zemsky $5,000 Developer
United Auto Workers $5,000 Union
Empire Health Political Action Committee $5,000 PAC
New Yorkers for Better Libraries $5,000 PAC
Zellner for Erie County Democatic Chairman $5,000 Democratic chairman
Lyft Inc. $5,000 Transportation

Talking Points

  • Ryan has raised $392,996 since declaring for the Senate in July 2019. He’s supplemented  that with $212,221 transferred from his Assembly campaign fund. 
  • Seventeen donors have contributed $5,000 or more to his Senate campaign committee. They account for $126,800, or nearly one-third of the money he’s raised.
  • All but four of the $5,000-plus donors are from outside Western New York, although some have local affiliates.
  • Donations from labor units account for $75,300, or 72 percent, of his $5,000-plus donors.
  • Small donations — less than $1,000 — total $84,346, or 21 percent of his contributions.
  • Ryan’s Republican opponent, Joshua Mertzlufft, has raised $35,787 through October 2.


Geoff Kelly and Ken Kruly discuss Ryan’s campaign finances and topical political issues.

Listen to Podcast

Next week: The largest donors to Donald Trump and Joe Biden from WNY.