July 18, 2017 • News Article

WNYC: How New York And New Jersey's 2018 Congressional Races Are Shaping Up

· by John O'Connor

If Democrats want to capture the House of Representatives next year, they need a strong showing in swing districts in New Jersey and New York. Six months into the cycle, challengers are proving they can bring in some cash.

Here are some takeaways from the most recent round of campaign finance reports.

NY-19 is going to be expensive

Last year, this northern Hudson Valley district was an open seat and one of the most expensive House races in the country. Republican John Faso won, and the 2018 race is rated a toss-up.

So far, there’s seven Democrats who’ve said they’re running — and they’ve raised more than $1.8 million combined.

Leading the way is Brian Flynn, who owns a company that makes medical products. He’s raised more than $750,000, but that includes a half-million dollar loan.

Attorney Antonio Delgado has raised more than $650,000 and maintained a steady pace to his fundraising over two quarters.

Both have raised more money than Faso, who reported about $500,000 on hand.

This race will get national attention, and, Governor Andrew Cuomo is targeting Faso for his role in the House health care bill so buckle up.

Incumbents have an early edge in New Jersey

There’s three races to watch in New Jersey.

In fundraising terms, the closest race is the 7th Congressional District in central New Jersey. That's the seat held by Republican Leonard Lance.

Attorney Lisa Mandelblatt has raised $250,000 dollars for her challege. Mandelblatt’s total includes a $100,000 loan.

But Lance has raised $372,000 dollars and has more cash on hand.

In North Jersey’s 11th Congressional District Democrats have high hopes of defeating Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen. But the powerful chairman of the House Appropriations Committee has raised almost $1 million already, four times as much as Democrat Mikie Sherrill.

A fundraiser hosted by President Trump added three-quarters of a million dollars to Republican Tom MacArthur war chests as he seek reelection in South Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District. Democrat Andy Kim has raised just $117,000. MacArthur has ten times as much in the bank.

Gottheimer taking no chances

Josh Gottheimer is the only local Democrat representing a district Trump won, North Jersey's 5th Congressional District. Gottheimer knows he's a target so he’s built a huge early fundraising lead — raising $1.6 million for reelection.

No Republicans have reported raising any money yet.

King, Zeldin cruising

So far, there’s no real challenge for Long Island Republicans Peter King in New York's 2nd Congressional District and Lee Zeldin in New York's 1st Congressional District. Both of those Republicans have healthy campaign accounts. And the Democrats lining up against Staten Island Republican Dan Donovan have not been as successful raising money as other challengers despite ambitious goals from activists in the district.