ITHACA, N.Y. — Updated reports released by the Federal Election Commission last week show Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) with a strong fundraising advantage over Democratic challenger Tracy Mitrano as the two move closer to a rematch in November.

Reed raised just over $460,000 in the last three months of 2019, leaving him with just over $709,000 on hand.

“We’re so grateful for the support we continue to enjoy from those joining our Problem Solvers movement. We will continue to listen to and go to work for New Yorkers and all Americans,” Reed said in a press release.

Only 3.4 percent of Reed’s contributions over the quarter were from individuals chipping in less than $200. Reed’s campaign also spent heavily during the quarter, chalking up a 78.6 percent burn rate as he made significant investments in research, staff and fundraisers, including $1,650 in tickets for the Broadway show, “Waitress.” The campaign also contributed several thousand dollars to Republican candidates and committees including the Tompkins County Republicans.

While the amount Reed raised in 2019 was almost $83,000 more than he pulled in during the same part of the election cycle in 2017, he ended that quarter with over $1 million cash on hand.

Mitrano closed out the fourth quarter with another modest haul of around $133,000 raised, 28.9 percent of which came from contributions under $200. She ended the quarter with just over $198,000 on hand.

“It means thousands of friends and neighbors are choosing to put their hard-earned dollars behind our movement to end corruption in Washington and end Tom Reed’s career in Congress,” Mitrano said in a statement to the Ithaca Voice.

Mitrano’s campaign spent 60.5 percent of its fundraising haul for the quarter, including expenses for fundraisers and compensation for staffers.

Democrat Scott Noren lags behind the rest of the field in fundraising. His current disclosures as reported to the FEC contain several errors, but he told the Ithaca Voice that he’s in the process of correcting those issues in collaboration with the FEC. He noted that he has roughly $14,000 on hand, the vast majority of which is from loans made by himself. Noren also said that he’s preparing to spend some of that cash on television ads in the coming weeks.

During this point in the 2017-2018 cycle, Democrats were engaged in a contentious and costly primary battle. At the end of June 2018, Mitrano had only $193,000 on hand, $5,000 less than what she has in the bank now. Both Mitrano and Reed combined spent over $5 million by the end of the 2018 cycle.

Vaughn Golden

Vaughn Golden is a freelance radio and print reporter covering politics around the southern tier and central New York. He authors the weekly "Capitol Watch" watchdog report on Ithaca's representatives...