Same-Sex Marriage Republican Has a Lot of Campaign Money

Mayor Michael Bloomberg donated $10,300 to Mark Grisanti, a freshman Republican State Senator whose re-election was thrown into even greater uncertainty after he voted to legalize same-sex marriage. Tim Gill, head of the national LGBT advocacy group, the Gill Foundation, donated $10,000 to Grisanti’s campaign.

Overall, Grisanti, who represents a heavily Democratic district in Buffalo, raised $148,325 ($91,461 from individuals and the rest from corporations and unions). During this latest filing period, he spent just over $28,495.

Overall, Grisanti has $103,954.06 in the bank, a remarkable turnaround since he started this filing period with $2,106.11 in debt.

The filing shows marriage-advocates making good on their promise to support lawmakers who voted for same-sex marriage. Ultimately, the bill passed the Republican-led State Senate with four Republicans, who joined all but one of the 30 Democrats in that chamber. Two of the Republicans who supported the bill — Stephen Saland of Poughkeepsie and Roy McDonald from just outside of Albany — are considered safe bets for re-election, since they won their last campaigns my large margins.

The only other Republican who supported the bill, and who was already facing long odds for re-election, was Jim Alesi of Rochester, who narrowly held off a Democratic challenger in 2010. Alesi was criticized for bringing a lawsuit against constituents after he broke his leg trespassing on their property. He wound up dropping the suit, but only after a lot of public criticism.

In his January 2011 report, Alesi had just over $11,000 in the bank. His July 2011 filings have not yet been posted online.

Grisanti had campaigned as an opponent of same-sex marriage and angered some of his supporters when he wound up voting for the bill. Rus Thompson, the head of a local Tea Party group, said he’s actively recruiting a candidate to unseat Grisanti because of this vote, and would make it “my mission to defeat him.”

Same-Sex Marriage Republican Has a Lot of Campaign Money