Attorney General Andrew Cuomo hasn't officially said which office he's running for, but he's sure got a lot of money to back up his campaign.
The potential gubernatorial candidate is expected to announce Friday that he's got $16 million in his war chest – more than five times that saved by Gov. David Paterson, whose fund-raising efforts in the last six months pale in comparison to Cuomo's.
Paterson says he has raised $2.2 million in the last six months for his Democratic campaign for governor, with $3 million left on hand for more spending. By contrast, Cuomo's expected to say he raked in $6 million in that time period, reports the Daily News.
Even more concerning, Paterson has been spending more money than he's bringing in – and the pitiful size of his war chest compared with Cuomo's has some wondering if he has the ability to launch a vigorous campaign for governor.
In the July reports, Cuomo had $10.1 million to Paterson's $5.4 million. But while Paterson raised $2.2 million in the last six months, he already spent nearly $4.6 million, primarily on television commercials the campaign as run for weeks. He's also got at least 14 campaign consultants on the payroll, reports The New York Times.
The TV ads did succeed in generating a minor boost in Paterson's approval ratings, but his poll numbers remain low, which has political operatives concerned about his viability in an atmosphere where Democratic incumbents have been extremely vulnerable.
"It’s my understanding that the governor has not been able to do as much fund-raising as he’d like," state Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs told the Times. "One of the problems he’s had since becoming governor is he’s gone from one crisis to another with very little time in between. I’m not measuring potential success at the moment on money."
But it's expensive to win a campaign in New York. Democrat Eliot Spitzer spent more than $30 million to win the 2006 race. He had nearly $20 million in his war chest at the beginning of the election year, reports the Times.
Even Paterson acknowledges his war chest is paltry. But he says he'll still have plenty of ammunition to wage a successful campaign.
"My numbers will not look as good as they would have if I had dedicated more time to this process, but I’ll have the resources to run an effective campaign for governor," Paterson said at an event in Albany this week.
Cuomo's campaign didn't respond to a request for comment and for its financial data.
Republican candidate Rick Lazio plans to make his data available Friday.