Leading up to the March 31st Federal Election Commission deadline, Senate candidate Joe Pennacchio raised only $107,710.
At the end of last month, Pennacchio had $25,081 cash-on-hand.
While those numbers appear to contradict the fundraising information the campaign released earlier this month — which showed Pennacchio having raised $361,710 and having 279,081 — Pennacchio said that wasn’t the case.
During the two weeks between the FEC’s cut off date and his campaign’s release of the fundraising totals, Pennacchio loaned himself an unspecified amount of money that may account for the discrepancy. As noted by Pennacchio’s campaign when the information was released, that total included two weeks after the FEC’s cut off date.
“I don’t want to seem evasive, but there were a number of checks I know that I wrote,” said Pennacchio, who couldn’t recall exactly how much he loaned himself.
Barring other significant donations, Pennacchio would have had to loan himself about $250,000 to make up for the discrepancy. Pennacchio contributed $4,000 to his own campaign and loaned it $20,000 before the deadline.
Pennacchio referred inquiries on exact numbers to campaign manager Dan Gallic, who said that Pennacchio had loaned himself “probably something like” $250,000 since March 31st.
Gallic noted that he made it clear in the initial release of fundraising numbers that they included amounts raised past the deadline.
“Do we have to do better? Sure,” said Gallic. “But I like where we stand right now in terms of where we stand for organizational support, the lines we have.”
Pennacchio has won seven county lines in his race against rival Republicans Dick Zimmer and Murray Sabrin.
“Maybe the Republicans have found that self-financing candidate they were looking for,” joked Gallic.
Gallic noted that the pre-filing deadline total was similar to how much former candidate Anne Estabrook had raised before she loaned her own campaign $1.6 million.
Sabrin raised approximately $350,000 before the filing deadline — $150,000 of which came from his own pocket. The rest was primarily raised through donations of $150 or less.
Zimmer, who entered the race earlier this month, will not have to disclose how much he raised until the next filing deadline on May 22nd.