Cayuga County Legislator Keith Batman received twice as many contributions as his Republican opponent, Assemblyman Gary Finch, in his first fundraising period as a candidate for state Legislature.
Batman, a Democrat, raised $22,608.97 since launching his campaign for the 126th Assembly District seat in April. Most of the donations — $19,314 — came from 80 individual donors.
He transferred $1,000 from his county Legislature campaign committee and Auburn Mayor Michael Quill's campaign contributed $100. Diane Dwire, through her campaign committee, gave $250.
Dwire, also a Democrat, challenged Finch, R-Springport, in 2014 and 2016.
Batman's campaign spent $2,846 and has $19,762 in the bank.
Finch reported that he raised $11,585 in the first six months of 2018. The total excludes $6,466 in miscellaneous receipts, which was money refunded to his campaign.
According to his filing, Finch raised $1,500 from 10 individual donors. A bulk of the contributions his campaign received came from campaign committees, limited liability corporations and political action committees.
Finch's top donors included LAWPAC of New York, the political arm of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, which gave $1,000. Nucor Corporation's PAC also donated $1,000. Nucor operates a steel mill in Auburn, which is in the assemblyman's district.
The assemblyman's campaign spent $27,471 over the past six months. His closing balance is $7,849.
Finch, who was first elected in 1999, is seeking another term representing the 126th Assembly District. The district includes parts of Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland and Onondaga counties.
The incumbent Republican has faced stiff opposition in each of his past two re-election bids. Despite an expensive campaign in 2014, Finch defeated Dwire by 10 points.
In a rematch two years ago, Finch won by 21 points.
Batman, a former chairman of the Cayuga County Legislature and ex-Scipio town supervisor, believes he can defeat Finch. His message early in the campaign has focused on being a voice for the district and advocating for funding. As a Democrat, he would serve in the majority if he's elected to the Assembly. He feels that would put him in a better position than Finch, who as a Republican is a member of the minority conference.
But Finch, who announced in April that he is running for re-election, says he has unfinished business in Albany. He wants to continue to work on issues of local importance, including the opioid crisis and water quality.
The district's voter enrollment is in Finch's favor. As of April 1, there are 31,903 active Republican voters and 25,911 Democrats in the four-county district. In addition, there are 19,754 active voters who aren't affiliated with any political party.
While Republicans have the advantage, Batman has won races for county Legislature and town supervisor in which GOP voters outnumber Democrats.
Finch filed petitions last week to run on the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Reform party lines. Batman will appear on the Democratic, Women's Equality and Working Families lines.
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6.