Jane Corwin, the Republican nominee in New York’s looming special election, has loaned her campaign an additional $960,000, according to a Federal Election Commission filing made public Thursday afternoon.
The loan brings the former businesswoman’s total personal investment so far to $1.96 million in the race for the 26th district, with less than two weeks left to campaign. Voters go to the polls May 24.
News of the new loan comes the same day that the National Republican Congressional Committee reserved $265,000 in television advertising time in the once-sleepy special election to replace Rep. Chris Lee (R). The news also comes as a public battle over a controversial video largely overshadowed the campaign’s first debate on Thursday.
Expect things to turn increasingly nasty, particularly in light of all the money flowing into the race. The NRCC decision follows investments by conservative outside powerhouse American Crossroads, which is dumping $650,000 into the race, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is devoting $250,000. In addition, DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) called on supporters in an email Thursday evening to make donations to support Democratic nominee Kathy Hochul. The Tea Party Express and tea party ally FreedomWorks have also taken an interest in the race.
Corwin’s pre-election finance report, which covers the period between April 1 and May 4, shows that she had spent $1.65 million in the contest, and she reported $613,000 left in her campaign account for the final three weeks. She can dip into her personal fortune again if necessary.
Third-party candidate Jack Davis is often portrayed as the person with deep pockets in the election, but Corwin’s personal wealth exceeds that of Davis, and they have spent roughly the same amount to date. Davis’ pre-election filing detailed a personal investment of $2.1 million.
Corwin, unlike Davis, has pursued outside fundraising in recent weeks. As the race has tightened, the state legislator has benefited from fundraisers hosted by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas).
Largely because of their assistance, Corwin reported raising more than $202,000 since April 1 to supplement her loans. Cantor ($5,000), Boehner ($2,000) and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) ($5,000) were among the major donors.
Davis’ campaign was overwhelmed before Thursday’s debate by a video that appears to show the candidate pushing a Republican tracker. The video was circulated by Republicans late Wednesday, and although Corwin denied knowledge of the tape Thursday morning, local media outlets widely reported that the tracker is her chief of staff in the state Legislature.
Davis spokesman Curtis Ellis denied that Davis pushed the tracker.
“You look at that video. It is the ‘Blair Witch Project.’ You’ve got this guy squealing like an 8-year-old girl and you’ve got a shaky camera,” Ellis said. “More important than that, Jane Corwin said that she never saw the video … and she says she doesn’t know anything about this video, and it was shot by her chief of staff. That is a lie.”