For the second fundraising period in a row, Democratic challenger Dana Balter outraised Republican U.S. Rep. John Katko in the 24th Congressional District race.
Balter, D-Syracuse, reported raising $367,119.44 in the first two-plus weeks of October, according to her pre-election fundraising filing. A vast majority of her total receipts — $337,100.50 — came from individual donors.
Her campaign spent $631,432 in the period spanning Oct. 1 through Oct. 17. She has $621,383.64 in the bank.
Katko, R-Camillus, collected $122,474.13 in total receipts, including $62,805.13 from individual donors. His campaign spent $529,874.08 and has $522,610.25 cash on hand.
Entering the final weeks of the campaign, Balter has the financial advantage. It's the first time she's held the cash on hand lead over Katko in the 24th district race.
While Balter received most of her financial backing from individual donors, she received thousands from political action committees and other groups. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, a labor union, gave $5,000. Elect Democratic Women, a PAC formed by Democratic women members of Congress, contributed $2,700.
Protect the House, a joint fundraising committee led by Vice President Mike Pence and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, transferred $28,169 to Katko's campaign. The Camillus Republican also received $2,500 from Nucor's PAC.
In this election cycle, Nucor PAC has donated $10,000 to his campaign.
Katko received a financial boost from House Speaker Paul Ryan, who visited Syracuse earlier this month to headline a fundraiser. The $1,000-a-plate event benefited Katko's re-election campaign.
The pre-election filing period followed a record-setting fundraising quarter for Balter. She raised more than $1.5 million from July 1 through Sept. 30, a new record for Syracuse-area congressional candidates. That performance allowed her to erase much of Katko's financial advantage.
At the beginning of the third quarter, Katko had roughly $1.5 million more than Balter.
Now, it's Balter with the cash on hand lead.
Following Balter's record quarter, some election forecasters changed their 24th district race ratings from "likely Republican" to "lean Republican." At least one of the forecasters, Cook Political Report, cited Balter's fundraising haul as a main reason why they upgraded the race.
The candidates have a busy week ahead. The final full week before the election will feature three televised debates. The first is at 7 p.m. Tuesday on CNY Central channels 3 and 5. Spectrum News will host its debate at 7 p.m. Thursday on channel 10. NewsChannel 9 rounds out the lineup with a debate 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4.
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