Rice the richest of N.Y. AG candidates

Jessica M. Karmasek Aug. 16, 2010, 3:27pm


NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General candidate Kathleen Rice continues to lead her competitors in the race to raise campaign funds.

The Nassau County District Attorney raised nearly $620,000 over the past month, pushing her war chest total to $4.4 million, according to campaign finance disclosure reports filed with the state Board of Elections on Friday.

That's even after Rice admitted earlier this month to trying both marijuana and cocaine in college. The Democrat told the New York Daily News she did the drugs "a handful" of times in her early 20s.

Rice's next-closest challenger, state Sen. Eric Schneiderman, raised less than half that amount, leaving him with $2.2 million to spend on the race, according to Manhattan news Web site DNAinfo.com.

Schneiderman recently picked up some big-time endorsements, including actor Alec Baldwin and former New York City Comptroller and 2009 mayoral candidate Bill Thompson.

Former federal prosecutor Sean Coffey took in only $48,000, but thanks to another $1 million loan to himself, he now has more than $3 million to spend. He lent an additional $2 million to his campaign in July.

Coffey has come under fire for making political contributions to officials who later hired his then-law firm.

Former Insurance Superintendent Eric Dinallo came in third in the fundraising race with $109,000 raised over the past month, increasing his chest to $1.6 million.

Assemblyman Richard Brodsky has received $47,000 in contributions, but also transferred $966,637.94 from his Assembly campaign account, boosting his funds to $1.5 million.

Meanwhile, the GOP challenger, Richmond County District Attorney Dan Donovan, had $500,000 on hand as of July 16.

The latest numbers closely mirror July's tallies, with Rice and Schneiderman in the lead, according to DNAinfo.com. Coffey's fundraising power appears to have slipped in the last month.

Rice's campaign touted the district attorney's fundraising totals.

"What we are seeing here is that as voters begin to pay more attention to this race, the momentum is swinging our way and the race is breaking towards the candidate most capable of cleaning up Albany, holding Wall Street accountable, and protecting New York families," Rice campaign manager Jeffrey Stein said in a statement.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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