Although the mid-term elections are 16 months away, Assemblyman Colin J. Schmitt’s congressional campaign has raised $281,000 in his first quarter as a candidate to challenge U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney.
Schmitt’s fund-raising total came from 975 donors, including nearly 500 individuals residing in the four counties represented by the congressional district.
The 18th district includes all of Orange County and Putnam counties, as well as parts of southern Dutchess County and northeastern Westchester County. The district includes Newburgh, Beacon and Poughkeepsie.
The district is currently represented by Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney, the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee who is seeking a sixth term. Schmitt is the only Republican to announce so far.
According to the Schmitt campaign, the $281,000 raised in his first quarter as a candidate for New York’s 18th Congressional Districts is the most for any Republican in the district since the candidate was a former Member of Congress. He also has $240,000 cash on hand.
“I am deeply grateful for the outpouring of support our campaign received from every corner of New York’s 18th Congressional District and beyond,” said Assemblyman Schmitt. “Our grassroots campaign has been fueled by the energy and enthusiasm of Hudson Valley residents who are concerned about the direction of our state and our country and who want change. Our growing ranks of volunteers and support demonstrate that we have the momentum we need to win this race.”
Westchester Republican Committee Chair and Republican State Committee Vice-Chair Douglas Colety issued the following statement: “Colin Schmitt’s exceptional fundraising performance and the broad coalition of supporters that he has brought into his campaign proves that he has what it takes to defeat radically liberal Sean Patrick Maloney and represent the Hudson Valley in the U.S. House of Representatives.”
Schmitt for Congress Co-Chair and Orange County County Clerk Annie Rabbitt added: “Colin’s standard-setting grassroots fundraising haul is a testament to his hard work and the broad appeal and support he has. In just a few months he has shown himself to be the strongest Republican candidate who will win back our seat.”
Taylor Weyeneth is Schmitt’s chief of staff. He also served Deputy Chief of Staff/White House liaison for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy under President Donald Trump in 2017 and 2018.
In an email exchange with this newspaper, Weyeneth said the budget for Schmitt’s congressional campaign is $3 million.
“We met and exceeded our goal for our first quarter,” the chief of staff said, “which puts us right on track to execute our plan and win.”
For comparison’s sake, Weyeneth said the total cost for the assemblyman’s re-election campaign for the State Assembly was about $200,000.
Weyeneth also offered the following context on the election prospects:
“In his race for re-election in the Assembly, the assemblyman received more votes than anyone who has ever run in this district, and that he won by nearly 15 percentage points over his Democratic opponent. In fact, Assemblyman Schmitt’s margin of victory (9,316) was the largest of anyone who has ever run in the current configuration of this district and it is the largest margin of victory for any candidate running in the central Orange County State Assembly district in nearly two decades.
“The Assemblyman won every town in the district and, more impressively, he was the leading Republican vote-getter of any race on the ballot in the district,” Weyeneth added. “Equally impressive, Assemblyman Schmitt received more votes than the presidential candidates and more votes than the incumbent member of Congress.”
Consider the race on.