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Riley, Cheney tout fundraising hauls ahead of August congressional primary

Cheney Finances WEB

Jamie Cheney began closing the gap against Democratic primary competitor Josh Riley in their race for their party's nomination in the 19th Congressional District, with both candidates making strong overall gains.

Cheney is a Dutchess County business owner and farmer. A campaign spokesperson said she raised just over $500,000 between April and June, leaving her with roughly $430,000 cash on hand going into the last two months before the Aug. 23 primary.

"I think the strength of our filing is a reflection of the momentum that our campaign has, both on the political and on an engaged donor and grassroots level,” Cheney said in an interview with WSKG.

Cheney dropped her state Senate bid and entered the 19th District race in late May after a court finalized new legislative lines.

Cheney’s primary opponent, former Senate Judiciary Committee staff attorney Josh Riley, continued to post strong fundraising numbers as well, during the second quarter. According to figures provided by his campaign, Riley had over $790,000 cash-on-hand going into July. 

"I'm so humbled by the outpouring of support we have received, and I'm ready to fight for working families, not special interests,” Riley said in a written statement to WSKG.

Riley’s campaign claims that a majority of his contributions are less than $25.

Cheney said she saw a noticeable increase in campaign contributions in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade last month.

"We already had solid momentum, we saw an even bigger bump,” Cheney said. “And I think that that bump was around a feeling that we needed new voice and we needed a voice that understood the damage that was being done."

The winner of the Democratic primary election will go on to face Dutchess county executive and former Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro in the general election. Molinaro had around $731,000 on-hand at the end of the first quarter.

The 19th Congressional District is one of 30 districts considered toss-ups in 2022 by the Cook Political Report. The district covers parts of the Southern Tier, central New York and the Catskills.

Coinciding with the August primary election will be a special election to fill the vacancy left by now-Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado. Neither Cheney nor Riley will appear on the Democratic line to fill the remaining four months of Delgado’s term. Instead Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan will against Molinaro run in the Aug. 23 special election. Ryan plans to run in the 18th Congressional District later this year.

Vaughn Golden has been reporting across New York since 2016. Working as a freelancer while studying journalism and economics at Ithaca College, Vaughn has reported for a number of outlets including the Albany Times Union, New York Post, and NPR among others. Prior to coming to WSKG full-time, Vaughn was a reporter for the Watertown Daily Times. Vaughn now covers government and politics for WSKG.