Newly released campaign finance records show that Alex V. Hammond, the Democratic candidate in the race for New York’s 116th Assembly District seat, is outraising the incumbent, Republican Assemblyman Mark C. Walczyk.
On Oct. 2, both candidates were required to submit campaign finance reports that account for the months of July, August and September. Those reports show that while Mr. Walczyk raised $20,572 during the three-month period, Mr. Hammond raised 30% more — $26,038.
Mr. Hammond had at least 16 donations from outside the district. Ninety-seven people donated to his campaign between July 1 and Sept. 30, and the average donation was $144.72. The lowest donation made to Mr. Hammond’s campaign was $4.20. He raised a total of $14,038.40 from individual donations.
Mr. Walczyk had at least 13 donors from outside the district. One hundred eighteen people donated to Mr. Walczyk’s campaign in that three-month period, and the average donation amount was $110.52. From individual donations, Mr. Walczyk raised $13,041.
Many of Mr. Walczyk’s donations were for $116, or a multiple of that number. Last month, the assemblyman biked 116 miles across the district as a campaign fundraiser, and individual donors were invited to donate $116 for one mile. Mr. Walczyk raised a bulk of his campaign income in the last three months from that fundraiser — a total of $13,456. Those donations were a combination of family, corporate and individual donors.
Mr. Walczyk has raised money from a number of corporate donors over the last three months, something Mr. Hammond has not done. Mr. Walczyk raised a total of $498 from local corporate donors, including $100 from Knowlton & Son, Norwood, and $232 from Guilfoyle Ambulance, Watertown.
Local party committees have spent more on Mr. Hammond than on Mr. Walczyk. Mr. Hammond raised a combined $3,350 from the St. Lawrence County and Jefferson County Democratic committees. Mr. Walczyk took in $930 from the Jefferson County Republican Committee and the Massena Republican Committee.
Mr. Hammond has also spent more than Mr. Walczyk, doling out $19,163 for all campaign expenses over the last three months. Mr. Walczyk has spent $15,655 over the same period.
Much of Mr. Hammond’s campaign spending has been for advertisements, including $4,042 for advertisements in the Watertown Daily Times, as well as a significant amount on mailed advertisements. Other large expenses include $6,327 for yard signs, paid to a printing company in Orlando, Fla., and ongoing campaign costs, like office rent and a salary for his campaign manager.
Mr. Walczyk’s campaign has paid $1,472 to North Country This Week, a weekly newspaper in St. Lawrence County published by North Country Now, for printing campaign literature. The campaign also paid online news aggregator Newzjunky $3,300 for petitioning expenses, which include generating voter lists, petition printing costs and circulation costs.
For advertising, Mr. Walczyk has paid $600 to advertise with WWNY-TV, also known as 7 News, $828 to advertise on the radio with Stephens Media Group, which owns WFRY-Froggy 97, WCIZ-Z93 and two local AM radio stations. He also paid $700 for media consulting from the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee. Mr. Walczyk has also spent $5,472 of his own money on his campaign. He purchased $1,642 worth of mugs for the campaign in July, and $3,830 on unspecified campaign materials in early September. Mr. Hammond donated $375 to his own campaign in early September.
Since Mr. Hammond entered the race in February, he has consistently raised more than Mr. Walczyk. In the campaign’s financial disclosures from July, which cover from February to May, Mr. Hammond raised $3,920 from eight individuals, including three family members. Most of his donations for that period came from the St. Lawrence County Democratic Committee, which gave him $2,350, and the New York State Laborers’ Union, which donated $4,500.
In that reporting period, Mr. Walczyk raised $2,175 from 16 individuals. From all sources, Mr. Hammond earned $12,770 from February to May. Mr. Walczyk raised $4,675 in total in the same time period.
Mr. Walczyk ended September with $13,257 in his campaign accounts, significantly less than the $32,442 he had at the same time in 2018, during his first election. That year, Mr. Walczyk successfully unseated the incumbent Democrat, Addie A.E. Jenne.
Mr. Walczyk announced his candidacy for the 2018 race relatively late, and started the race in July with just $11,425, transferred from his campaign for Watertown City Council. He raised $17,017 from individual donors in that first reporting period, $2,675 from corporations and $7,115 from other Republican campaign committees, including state Sen. Patricia A. Richie’s campaign committee.