Wrapping up and looking forward: updated campaign financials

Six month campaign financials were due to be filed at the State Board of Elections on January 17th for transactions through January 13th. Here is a summary of what they show:

Wrapping up

Former interim Erie County District Attorney Michael Flaherty still has $41,473 in his campaign account, which also shows $100,000 in outstanding loans from family members and $9,000 to James Eagan.

Newly elected District Attorney John Flynn has a balance of $12.15 in his campaign account, which is not quite enough for a large cheese and pepperoni pizza. From the start of his campaign through January 13th Flynn raised $530,473.

Looking forward

Mayor of Buffalo

The premier local contest this year will be for Mayor of Buffalo, assuming that City Comptroller Mark Schroeder challenges three term incumbent Byron Brown.

Schroeder has a total of $157,757 available, which includes a personal loan of $25,000. In addition to the loan, Schroeder raised $15,291 since his last report in July.

Mayor Brown reports a treasury balance of $340,619, a decrease of $30,208 since July. He raised $115,375, but also spent $145,583 in that time period.

This all leaves Brown with a comfortable cash lead at the moment, and as the incumbent a much greater ability than Schroeder to solicit and collect additional contributions. Money certainly doesn’t take care of all campaign needs. Campaign organizations and most particularly in a local race, on-the-street participation, can make up for a lot of dollars. Brown will have both the Erie County Democratic Committee and his own organization running his street effort. Schroeder’s campaign structure has not been publically identified yet.

Erie County offices

The offices of Surrogate Judge, Sheriff, Comptroller and County Clerk will be on the ballot this year. The Clerk’s race, however, will only be for the unexpired term of Chris Jacobs, recently elected to the State Senate. Whoever wins the Clerk’s race this year will run for a full four-year term in 2018.

Most political people in town seem to think that the race for Surrogate Court Judge is already over. Acea Mosey is expected to receive the endorsement of the Democratic, Republican and Conservative Parties. Her campaign account shows a balance of $215,311. She loaned her campaign $150,000, which is good for warding off potential opponents, but is likely to be refunded to Ms. Mosey sometime later this year.

Sheriff Tim Howard will be seeking his fourth term. His campaign account balance is $97,164. He raised $67,567 in the past six months. Retired FBI Agent-in-Charge Bernie Tolbert is mentioned as a possible Democratic candidate for the office.

County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw has $71,138 in his account, having raised $27,474 since July. No potential opponent has come forward at this time.

The County Clerk’s race is unsettled at the moment and the office is currently being administered by County Hall veteran and First Deputy Clerk Peggy LaGee, who will not be a candidate for the position. Governor Cuomo could appoint an interim Clerk, something he sometimes does and sometimes does not do.

Democrats mentioned for the office have included County Legislators Tom Laughran, Pat Burke and Peter Savage, who has removed himself from the selection process. Other names mentioned include Janique Curry and former County Legislature Chair Lynn Marinelli. Marinelli has previously demonstrated her strong campaign work ethic and would be a formidable candidate.

Assemblyman Mickey Kearns recently indicated his interest in the Clerk’s race. Kearns has an active campaign account with a current balance of $5,126.

The only names seriously mentioned as potential Republican candidates for Clerk are caterer Shelly Schratz and former TV anchor Joanne Pasceri. Schratz and Pasceri both reaffiliated as Conservatives in 2016. Pasceri currently works for District Attorney Flynn but would likely need to resign that position to run for Clerk.

After these reports the financials will go into hibernation until July. In the interim much of this speculation will clear up. Stay tuned.