Rep. Tom Reed during an August visit to Cornell. (Kyle Friend/Ithaca Voice)

Ithaca, N.Y. — Martha Robertson’s (D) election campaign recently reported to the Federal Election Commission that her campaign contributions were now slightly over $2 million.

Robertson is battling incumbent Rep. Tom Reed (R) in the 23rd District race, which includes Ithaca and Tompkins County.

However, Reed’s campaign finance reports show that he has raised just over $3 million – for a total of $3,217,323.16, according to the FEC.

Where is the money coming from?

According to the FEC, Reed has raised $1,267,713 from individuals alone, in addition to $11,800 from party committees and $1,785,686 from other committee contributions.

Contributions from “other committees” range from donations from the American Association of Orthodontists PAC to the National Cable and Telecommunications Association PAC.

Martha Robertson.
Martha Robertson.

Robertson has raised more from individuals than Reed. She’s raised $1,687,332 from this category — over $400,000 more than Reed has.

A Robertson campaign press release called the campaign “truly grassroots, with nearly 7,500 individual donors, 95% of whom gave $250 or less.”

“In contrast, Congressman Reed has continued to rely on special interests and PACs to fund his campaign,” the release added.

Robertson has just $9,658 from party committees and $313,895 from other committees. The “other committees” that Robertson has received funds from ranges from the Human Rights Campaign PAC to the New York Jobs PAC.

Robertson has received 15 $5,000 donations from what the FEC calls “other committees,” which include corporations and PACs. Reed has received 48 $5,000 donations from the same category.

How are they spending it?

The Reed and Robertson campaigns have both dramatically increased spending in the last three months, according to the FEC, with both candidates spending surpassing the $1,000,000 mark between July 1 and September 30.


Robertson, Chairman of the Tompkins County Legislature, had TV ad funding cut by the national Democratic Party earlier in the month.

“The committee is cutting two weeks of reservations supporting Tompkins County legislator Martha Robertson, who has failed to gain ground on Republican Rep. Tom Reed,” the National Journal reported.

Rep. Tom Reed during an August visit to Cornell. (Kyle Friend/Ithaca Voice)
Rep. Tom Reed during an August visit to Cornell. (Kyle Friend/Ithaca Voice)

According to the Federal Election Commission, Robertson has spent $1,527,357 of the $2,025,886.70 she has raised.

Reed, in comparison, has spent $2,413,449 of the $3,217,323.16 he has raised.

Election Day is Nov. 4. POLITICO’s 2014 election predictions list Tom Reed as the likely winner of the race.

The Washington Post’s election lab show a trend of conservatives winning elections nationwide; they list the likelihood of Republicans maintaining the House at a “greater than 99% chance as of today,” with a 97% chance that a Republican will win the 23rd District race.

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A senior at Cornell University, Kyle covers the affordable housing crisis for the Ithaca Voice. Reach him through e-mail: