Politics and Elections

October 19, 2012

Congressional candidates show big money

PLATTSBURGH — The world of big campaign financing has hit the North Country congressional race full force.

Both challenger Matt Doheny and incumbent Bill Owens show significant war chests as the campaign heads into the final two weeks with Owens owning a half-million dollar edge.

According to records from the Federal Election Commission, Owens, a Democrat from Plattsburgh, had receipts of $1,784,265, and Doheny, a Republican from Watertown, had $1,255,766.

Those figures were as of Sept. 30, the last filing deadline.

Of Doheny’s funds, $708,162 came from individual contributors, and $158,300 came from political action committees or PACs.

The former Wall Street investor had also ponied up $335,000 of his own money.

Doheny lists no funds from the Republican Party and $54,304 marked as other.

Owens received $700,582 from individuals and $5,038 from the Democratic Party.

He got $992,160 from PACs. The former Plattsburgh attorney put in $29,000 of his own money. Owens listed $57,485 as other.

The amount of money Owens received from PACs was raised as an issue in the recent televised debate between the two candidates vying for the 21st District seat.

Owens defended his campaign contributions by saying that he was proud to have support from a broad spectrum of people. He denied being beholden to them on any votes.

“You will see by my voting record that I vote independently, and that is really the test,” he said.

Owens also said that he has voted with Republicans 35 percent of the time, showing that he is willing to reach across the aisle in an attempt to solve problems.

Doheny said he is a self-made man and so are his donors.

“And you will see that I am one of the largest donors to my own campaign,” he said.

Green Party candidate Donald Hassig of St. Lawrence County listed no receipts or expenses for his campaign.

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