GUILDERLAND Democrat and Guilderland Supervisor Ken Runion has more cash on hand than Republican challenger Mark Grimm, but both have raised a similar amount of money since campaign season got underway.
Seven-term incumbent Runion reported a closing balance of almost $23,100 in his campaign’s July financial disclosure filed with the state Board of Elections, while Grimm reported just over $8,200. Runion has raised approximately $8,860 since January, but Grimm’s contributions were on par with Runion for that period at $8,166.
Grimm said the figures show a strong support from the public, but Runion discounted the concept fundraising is a measure of public approval. Runion said a committee raises funds for his campaign and he isn’t personally involved in his campaign’s fundraising efforts.
“The committee has done some good fundraising activities and I think we will have enough to manage the campaign during the 2013 season,” Runion said.
He claimed his campaign literature also doesn’t solicit money, while Grimm’s literature does ask people to offer monetary support.
Grimm said incumbents are usually well ahead of challengers in terms of money, so he was pleased to see his fundraising so close to Runion’s.
“That shows me not only that I have support, but they think I can win,” Grimm said. “People really generally believe in me and think I have a good chance of winning.”
Runion, however, scoffed at the idea of finances as a support barometer.
“I do think there is any correlation between those types of fundraising activities,” Runion said. “At the end of the day it is public opinion that matters.”
Last election, Runion ran unopposed for his seventh term as Guilderland supervisor. His war chest stood at almost $16,100 at the start of the year.
Despite their interpretation of the significance of the reports, both candidates agreed fundraising is a necessary part of getting their message out to voters.