Expect to see a lot of campaign mail from Jenifer Rajkumar over the next four weeks.
Though Rajkumar’s fundraising has dried up over the past month of the campaign, she still leads all candidates with cash on hand with $182.826 according to campaign finance reports filed over the weekend — almost twice as much as her nearest competitor, Paul Newell, who shows $92,347 on hand.
There are six candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for Assembly District 65. Given the heavily Democratic makeup of this district, the winner of the September 13 primary will most likely win the general election to succeed our convicted former Assemblyman Sheldon Silver.
Alice Cancel, who currently holds the seat after winning a special election this past April, comes in dead last in fundraising and cash on hand. Cancel raised nothing through the beginning of July and only $7,000 since, almost all of which comes from PACs and other campaign committees. Cancel has only $9,151 on hand for the final stretch of this race, though in April she defeated Yuh-Line Niou despite being heavily outspent.
Rounding out the candidates: Gigi Li has $72,554 on hand, Yuh-Line Niou has $67,936 on hand, and Don Lee, who raised a huge amount to start the year, has already spent heavily — his campaign signs are visible everywhere in Chinatown — and now has only $22,171 on hand.
Money, of course, is not everything. But in a low-turnout primary for (essentially) an open seat, direct mail and other printed material will be essential for candidates to gain name recognition and get out the vote.