Assemblywoman Grace Meng announced raising over $750,000 to date for her congressional campaign this morning, and it looks like her colleague in the Assembly, Hakeem Jeffries, has raised the same amount for his own congressional bid. In a statement from his campaign, Mr. Jeffries reported raising $250,000 since he last disclosed his tally in April, and twice again that number in the previous filings, placing him in a good position to do well in his June 26th Democratic primary.
“I am honored and humbled to have the support of hundreds of additional donors over these last two months,” Mr. Jeffries said. “Many have contributed $5 or less to support our campaign. We have talked to residents in every corner of the district to intimately understand the challenges facing neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens. With the strong support and commitment of so many people, we will be able to effectively communicate our progressive message throughout the balance of this campaign.”
Mr. Jeffries’ one opponent, Councilman Charles Barron, is a notoriously weak fundraiser, so it’s unlikely he’ll come anywhere close to Mr. Jeffries’ total. At the end of the last filing period, he reported having raised about $50,000, but almost all of it came from loans given by Mr. Barron to his own campaign.
Mr. Barron has always stressed that his base of support exists irrespective of campaign money and can point to his solid performance in a 2006 congressional campaign despite running a shoestring budget.
However, in such a large, diverse district, a sizable campaign war chest is often critical to reach out to the various constituencies and get them to turn out to vote in an election they might not be paying attention to.