Governor Andrew Cuomo Contributed $7,000 to Kesten’s Primary Opponent
LEWISBORO, NY — July 18, 2018 — Robert Kesten, Democratic candidate for State Senate District 40, released his fundraising numbers on Monday, July 16, demonstrating significant grassroots support from within the district. According to his most recent filings, 75% of Kesten’s campaign contributions came from small-dollar donations, with nearly 80% of contributions coming from residents of the district he is running to represent. To date, Kesten has raised nearly $108,000, with approximately $69,000 in his campaign war chest, which is roughly $30,000 more than his primary challenger, Peter Harckham.
Kesten’s July filing also shows a $250 contribution from Harckham made to the campaign in March, 2018. A previous contribution made by Harckham to Kesten in December, 2017 brings the total amount contributed by Kesten’s opponent to $500.
Governor Andrew Cuomo also released his financial filing this week, which reflects a maximum primary contribution of $7,000 awarded to Harkham’s campaign. The Governor’s contribution is Harckham’s single largest donation, however, the contribution is not reflected in Harckham’s July filing, nor has there been an amendment filed to acknowledge receipt of the contribution.
In response, Kesten said, “I find it troubling that a contribution from the Governor was not reflected in my opponent’s filing. The people of SD40 deserve an independent voice in the State Senate that represents the people, not the Governor.”
Kesten has been endorsed by the majority of Democratic committees and activist groups in the 40th Senate District and last week submitted nearly 4,000 signatures to the NYS Board of Elections in order to appear on the ballot for the September 13 primary. Using only volunteers, the campaign collected 40% more signatures than Harckham.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Kesten said, “Our campaign continues to surpass expectations in every way…. we achieved this without taking a dime from the Albany political establishment.” He goes on to say, “I am facing down the establishment forces in our politics to make sure we put our families first and it starts with the way I am running my campaign. Our campaign is about the people in our district who are being left behind. The outpouring of support we have received through grassroots fundraising, endorsements, volunteers, and petition signatures shows that when you stand for the people, the people unite behind you. We are in the best position – both financially and in terms of grassroots support – to defeat Senator Murphy this fall.”
About Robert Kesten
Born and raised in Westchester, Robert Kesten has spent his career building coalitions and facilitating partnerships on the local, national, and international levels. A Lewisboro Democratic District Leader, Robert began his career working on the campaigns of several prominent U.S. Senators (including Tom Daschle and Paul Simon) as well as for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). At the state level, Robert worked for the NYS Senate Minority Leader, Manfred Ohrenstein. Since 2009, Robert has served as the executive director of PDHRE, a small but impactful non-profit established to respond to the unmet need for Human Rights Learning at the grassroots level. He also created and ran America’s Future Through Academic Progress, an educational program in the NYC Public Schools for academically, socially and economically challenged students. Robert is a longtime union member of SAG-AFTRA (AFL-CIO) and a long-term advocate of children’s health.
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SOURCE: Mark A. Lieberman, Kesten Press Director