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Katko Town Hall

FILE - In this August 2018 photo, U.S. Rep. John Katko answers a question during a town hall meeting in Auburn. 

U.S. Rep. John Katko opened his 2020 re-election campaign by raising more than $280,000 in the first quarter, according to a filing submitted to the Federal Election Commission Monday. 

Katko, R-Camillus, raised $284,964 — $207,223 in contributions and $77,699 transferred from two joint fundraising committees. His campaign spent $71,188 and has $261,963 cash on hand. 

The fundraising haul is on par with Katko's past performance in his two re-election bids. In the first quarter of 2015, he raised $299,431. Two years ago, his campaign reported receipts totaling $261,184. 

For the most recent quarter, which began Jan. 1 and ended March 31, Katko's notable supporters included Bruce Kenan, a Destiny USA and Pyramid Development executive, who gave $5,600. Former U.S. Rep. Jim Walsh contributed $1,000. 

Donations from political action committees included $10,000 each from the Air Line Pilots Association PAC and Anheuser-Busch Companies PAC. 

Katko received significant support from the Take Back the House 2020 joint fundraising committee. House Republican leaders formed the committee to support GOP candidates and the National Republican Congressional Committee. 

When Republicans held the majority in the House of Representatives, the joint fundraising committee was named Protect the House. The committee transferred $3,851.31 to Katko's campaign before the name change. 

Under the new Take Back the House 2020 banner, Katko received $73,848.60. 

Katko intends to seek a fourth term representing the 24th Congressional District. He was elected in 2014 and re-elected in 2016 and 2018. 

After 20-point wins in his first two congressional elections, though, he faced his toughest campaign last year. Democratic candidate Dana Balter raised the most money of any Syracuse-area congressional challenger and boasted hundreds of volunteers. Katko won the race by five points. 

Democrats have already identified the 24th district as a top target in 2020. There are two declared candidates vying for the Democratic nomination: Francis Conole and Roger Misso, both Navy veterans. 

Balter will announce Tuesday whether she will run again. 

The 24th Congressional District is comprised of Cayuga, Onondaga and Wayne counties. The westernmost towns in Oswego County are also in the district. 

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Online producer Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or robert.harding@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.

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