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Money In Politics:

Tim Kennedy’s massive campaign treasury

Published December 22, 2020

State Sen. Tim Kennedy is a prodigious fundraiser. In the past four years — during which he has faced negligible reelection challenges — the Buffalo Democrat’s campaign committee has raised more than $2.1 million and the committee’s bank balance tops $1 million. Here’s what Ken Kruly, Investigative Post researcher and publisher of Politics and Other Stuff, found in his review of four years of Kennedy’s campaign finance filings through Nov. 30.


Kennedy's largest donors

Name Location Amount
Real Estate Board PAC New York City $32,500
LAWPAC of New York New York City $28,000
David C. Rich (NY Hospital Assn.) Maplewood, NJ $26,020
NYS Troopers PAC Albany $21,000
Russell Maxwell Buffalo $20,500
NY Physical Therapy Assn. PAC Latham $19,750
Joe Carubba Buffalo $18,000
Mark Cerrone Inc. Niagara Falls $17,800
D & S Capital Real Estate Buffalo $16,500
NYS Laborers PAC Albany $15,800
Paul Ciminelli Buffalo $15,300
QC EAST, LLC Orchard Park $15,000
WNY MRI Buffalo $14,700
Gordon Reger West Seneca $14,600
Seneca Nation Salamanca $14,500
Native Pride Irving $12,800
Jonathan David Pollock New York $11,800
John F. Fish Boston, MA $10,000
Long Island Contractors Assn. Hauppauge $10,000

Talking Points

  • During the two most-recent state legislative election cycles, 2017-2018 and 2019-2020, Kennedy raised a total of $2,138,313. His campaign treasury currently has a balance of $1,065,267.
  • That cash on hand puts him on the same footing as Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins of Westchester County. It’s 10 times the amount Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt of Niagara County has on hand.
  • Kennedy’s four largest contributors were all from outside of Western New York. Collectively they donated $107,520.
  • His big donors run the gamut from unions to real estate developers, law firms and health-care interests, among many others.
  • Eighty-six of the contributions were for $5,000 or more; 933 were for $1,000 or greater.
  • Donors of $100 or less account for just $67,479 of Kennedy’s $2.1 million raised over the past four years.
  • During the past four years the average donation to Kennedy’s campaign increased each year. The average donation went from $569 in 2017 to $1,113 in 2020.
  • The Democrats winning majority control of the Senate in 2019 has helped Kenney’s fundraising. In the subsequent 2019-2020 election cycle Kennedy raised $1,122,346, an increase of $290,552 or 35 percent over the previous election cycle, when the Democrats were in the minority.
  • Kennedy shares the wealth. Among the biggest expenditures by the Kennedy for Senate committee between 2017 and 2020 were transfers to the Democratic State Senate Campaign Committee ($165,000) and the Erie County Democratic Committee ($22,230).

Podcast

Ken and Geoff Kelly discuss Kennedy’s fundraising prowess and Geoff’s column Monday on the upcoming mayoral election and whether Kennedy, flush with campaign cash, might consider challenging Bryon Brown.

Listen to Podcast

Coming in January: Campaign contributions of Howard and Leslie Zemsky.