Republican nominee Bob Antonacci's campaign offered a harsh assessment of Democratic foe John Mannion's finances following the 32-day fundraising reports filed by both candidates in the 50th Senate District race.
Helen Kiggins Walsh, Antonacci's campaign manager, said Tuesday that Mannion is "nearly broke" with four weeks to go until the election.
In his most recent filings, Mannion reported receipts totaling $251,488.26. More than half of the funding came from the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, which contributed $147,108 to pay for television commercials.
Antonacci reported $212,417.44 in total receipts, but he has a much larger closing balance. He has $257,632.57 cash on hand compared to Mannion's $44,170.35. While Antonacci's campaign spent $107,264, Mannion's expenses totaled $269,957.
Kiggins Walsh said Mannion's funds were spent on "attacking (Antonacci) in the mailbox and on TV."
There have been several mailers and television commercials critical of Antonacci. However, most of the advertising and literature targeting the GOP candidate has been paid for by outside groups, such as the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee and the state Democratic Party.
Other ads have been funded by Fighting For Our Future, a group aligned with New York State United Teachers. The teachers union is supporting Mannion in the 50th district race.
Kiggins Walsh also panned the source of Mannion's campaign funds. The contributions to his campaign, she charged, "largely come from outside of the district from special interests in Albany, New York City and even Tucson, Arizona."
Labor unions and the Senate Democrats, she noted, are the two biggest supporters.
"On the other hand, Bob Antonacci's grassroots campaign is built by small donors from central New York, most of whom gave $250 or less," Kiggins Walsh said. "Our recent filing shows approximately 160 individual donors and nearly $10,000 in low-dollar contributions, the vast majority of each coming from within the Senate district."
A review of campaign finance records found that both candidates have received most of their money from outside groups or other sources. Antonacci's receipts total $368,160.48. A portion of that funding — $116,718.04 — was transferred from his comptroller campaign to his state Senate campaign committee.
Antonacci received $76,000 from the Senate Republican Campaign Committee and $47,048 from limited liability corporations and political action committees from outside the district.
Mannion has reported receipts totaling $329,281.73 since becoming a candidate for state Senate. He received $147,108 from the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee. That contribution is included in the $232,508 he's received from LLCs, PACs and other committees.
Mannion has received $108,239.73 in individual contributions, according to his committee's filings. Individual donors gave $75,664.44 to Antonacci's campaign.
There 320 individual donations to Mannion's campaign, 204 of which were for no more than $250. Antonacci received 185 individual donations, with 142 donations of $250 or less.
Ian Phillips, Mannion's campaign manager, accused Antonacci's team of lying about the campaign finance figures in the race.
"The facts are simple, central New Yorkers are tired of career politicians and serial candidates like Bob Antonacci, and that is why they are supporting teacher and community leader John Mannion," Phillips said. "John is going to keep focusing on the issues and on rebuilding central New York, and that is why he is going to win in November."
Kiggins Walsh reiterated that Antonacci has more cash on hand, which will allow him to "bring his positive message of cutting taxes, creating jobs and securing our fair share from Albany directly to the voters."
"As comptroller, Bob Antonacci has saved taxpayers millions of dollars and even stood up to his own party when it was the right thing to do," she said. "He's not afraid to shake things up and he has real and significant accomplishments on behalf of working families. He will do even more as your state senator."
Antonacci and Mannion are vying to succeed retiring state Sen. John DeFrancisco, a Republican. DeFrancisco has represented the 50th district since 1993.
The district includes parts of Cayuga and Onondaga counties. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6.