First Senate District candidates Laura Ahearn (D-Port Jefferson) and Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk)

Democratic State Senate candidate Laura Ahearn of Port Jefferson made $75,000 in loans to her campaign committee and raised more than $142,800 since July 12, according to the most recent campaign finance disclosure statement filed by her committee.

Ahearn reported spending $106,269 during the period covered by the disclosure report, including a transfer of $30,895 to the DSCC (Democratic Senate Campaign Committee) in Albany. She reported a closing balance of $118,992 as of the Sept. 28 cut-off date for the last reporting period.

Her Republican opponent, Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo of New Suffolk, entered the final month of the campaign in the First Senate District with cash on hand of $87,516. Palumbo has transferred $34,510 from his assembly campaign committee account to his Palumbo for Senate account this year, including $6,000 during the last reporting period. He reported nearly $81,000 in outstanding loans to his assembly campaign account as of the close of the current reporting period. The loans were made between June 2013 and June 2016.

Both vie to fill the seat held since 1977 by State Senator Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), the State Senate’s longest-tenured member who is retiring at the end of the year.

The candidates for the Second Assembly District seat being vacated by Palumbo reported similar closing balances in their campaign war chests as of Sept. 28. Councilwoman Jodi Giglio (R-Baiting Hollow) held a slight edge over Laura Jens-Smith (D-Laurel) at the close of the reporting period. Giglio reported a closing balance of $16,086. Jens-Smith reported a closing balance of $15,007.

Giglio reported $32,230 in contributions during the reporting period, which she began with a balance of $38259. She also recorded a $2,500 transfer from the Riverhead Republican Committee campaign account. Giglio reported spending $56,903 during the reporting period.

Jens-Smith reported fundraising of $29,525 and spending $31,559 during the reporting period. The former Riverhead Town supervisor started the period with an opening balance of $17,041, according to her report.

William Van Helmond of Jamesport, Libertarian candidate for Second Assembly District, did not file a 32-day pre-general report as of today, according to the N.Y. State Board of Elections website. His July periodic report showed a closing balance of $41.

Longtime incumbent Assemblyman Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor) reported a closing balance of $10,829 for this reporting period. He raised $3,000 and spent $321. His Republican opponent, Heather Collins does not have a campaign committee on file with the N.Y. State Board of Elections, according to the state website.

At the local level, there is one contest: the election to fill the position of Riverhead Town Justice, which became vacant with the sudden death of Justice Allen Smith in July. Former Riverhead town supervisor Sean Walter of Wading River, running on the Republican and Conservative lines faces Democrat Joseph DiBenedetto of Riverhead.

Walter reported a closing balance of $4,750 at the end of the current reporting period, all of which was raised during the reporting period. DiBenedetto does not have a campaign committee on file with the N.Y. State Board of Elections, according to the state website.

There are no other town races this year, an off-cycle year for local offices.

The Riverhead Republican Committee, which started the current reporting period with an opening balance of $7,623 ended it with a closing balance of $2,884, after expenses of $4,739 — including the $2,500 transfer to the Friends of Jodi Giglio account.

The transfer to Giglio’s committee was the Republican committee’s single biggest cash outlay this cycle. The Riverhead Republican Committee’s single biggest contribution this cycle came on July 1, a $5,000 contribution from a HK Ventures LLC – a company with a pending application to build a 424,000 square foot industrial complex on Middle Country Road in Calverton. That contribution was reported in the Republican committee’s July periodic report.

The Riverhead Town Democratic Committee has not filed the the 32-day pre-general report. It reported a closing balance of $7,468 in its July periodic report. Committee treasurer Robert Gottschalk said the committee is not required to file reports for this election cycle because it is “not running or supporting a candidate for office.” He said the committee is required to file a “no activity statement” and had done so. The statement appeared on the State Board of Elections website following publication of this article.

The period covered by the 32-day pre-general report, was July 12 through Sept. 28. The next and final report before the Nov. 3 general election is due Oct. 23. The cut-off date for that report is Oct. 19. A candidate or party committee that receives a contribution or loan exceeding $1,000 between Oct. 20 and Nov. 2 must report it within 24 hours. A final campaign finance report is due Nov. 30.

Editor’s note: Assembly candidate William Van Helmond was inadvertently omitted from this story, which has been amended to correct the omission. The article has also been amended to reflect a response from the treasurer of the Riverhead Town Democratic Committee after publication of this article and also to add information about Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo‘s outstanding loans to his assembly campaign committee.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.