Dana Balter, the Democratic nominee in New York's 24th Congressional District race, will report a record-setting fundraising quarter later this month, her campaign announced Monday.
Balter, D-Syracuse, raised more than $1.5 million in the third quarter of 2018. That's more than any Syracuse-area congressional candidate has raised in one quarter in modern political history.
Before Balter's haul, Federal Election Commission records indicate the best fundraising quarter for any Syracuse-area candidate was the third quarter of 2008, when Democratic candidate Dan Maffei raised $592,663.28.
Balter's opponent, U.S. Rep. John Katko, has been a prodigious fundraiser since first running for Congress in 2014. But his best performance was when he raised $525,105.16 in the third quarter of 2016.
Katko, R-Camillus, hasn't released his fundraising figures for the third quarter, which ran from July 1 through Sept. 30. The fundraising reports must be filed with the FEC by Oct. 15.
In a statement, Balter said she's proud of her campaign's work.
"Central and western New York need a representative who will show up, listen and stand up for all the people who live here," she said. "That's how we've built this campaign — one conversation, one volunteer, one contribution at a time. And we did it all without a single cent of corporate PAC money."
Balter's campaign said it received more than 40,000 contributions in the third quarter and the average donation was under $35. More than 95 percent of the contributions received by the campaign were for less than $100.
With her $1.5 million fundraising haul, Balter has already exceeded the totals Maffei raised as a challenger in 2006 ($958,298.90) and Katko in 2014 ($1,029,766.17).
It also tops former U.S. Rep. Jim Walsh's best election cycle, when he raised $1,396,424 in 2006 — the year Maffei challenged the longtime incumbent congressman. Walsh narrowly won that contest.
Balter's fundraising performance could lead political forecasters to change the 24th district's race rating. Katko is favored to win the election and many political prognosticators, including Cook Political Report and Inside Elections, rate the race as likely Republican.
A Siena College poll released in late August found Katko leading Balter by 15 points, 54 to 39 percent.
Until now, Katko has held a large fundraising advantage over Balter. He entered the third quarter with more than $1.6 million cash on hand. Balter only had $113,305 in the bank at the start of the quarter.
Before the third quarter began, Balter raised $456,545. However, much of that money was spent on the primary election in June. She defeated Juanita Perez Williams by 25 points to secure the Democratic nomination.