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Stephanie Miner trails opponents in money for governor's race, despite big donations

Stephanie Miner trails opponents in money for governor's race, despite big donations

Syracuse Post-Standard, July 18, 2018

...The bulk of Miner's contributions came from three leaders of the Serve America Movement, an upstart political party backing her run. Charles Wall, a former lawyer for Philip Morris; Michael Willner, a software CEO; and Scott Muller, a former lawyer for the CIA, each gave $44,000 to the campaign....

Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins, who is also from Syracuse, raised more than $24,000 between January and July. He has about $17,000 available to spend....

 

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Former mayor Stephanie Miner has collected a handful of massive donations in her nascent campaign for governor, but lags far behind most of her competitors. 

Miner raised $184,546 from about two dozen contributors since June. She has $162,856 on hand after expenses.

The bulk of Miner's contributions came from three leaders of the Serve America Movement, an upstart political party backing her run. Charles Wall, a former lawyer for Philip Morris; Michael Willner, a software CEO; and Scott Muller, a former lawyer for the CIA, each gave $44,000 to the campaign.

Miner's husband, John F.X. Mannion, gave $10,000. 

Miner also transferred $225,092 in leftover money from two former mayoral campaign accounts. 

"This filing reflects just over three weeks -- 24 days to be exact -- since the campaign announced," campaign spokeswoman Rachel Barnhart said. "In the coming months we expect to see more of what we are seeing now: lots of people from all walks of life and corners of the state who have had enough and want to end the status quo that both parties perpetuate."

Miner, who joined the race late in the season and is running as an independent, is at a significant financial disadvantage compared to her major-party opponents. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has more than $31 million at his disposal, after raising $6 million since January, according to a report Tuesday from the New York Post

Cynthia Nixon, who is challenging Cuomo in a Democratic primary, said she has raised $1.6 million since March. 

Republican Marc Molinaro raised more than $1.1 million in the last six months. He has $887,000 on hand. 

Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins, who is also from Syracuse, raised more than $24,000 between January and July. He has about $17,000 available to spend.

Miner's campaign filing also showed $22,500 paid to Sherman Jewett between April and May. Jewett, a longtime Democratic operative in Albany, is the campaign manager.

While mayor, Miner quietly hired Jewett as a public relations consultant in the midst of a fight with Onondaga County over development at the Inner Harbor.

He was hired part-time and paid $84,000 a year through the Syracuse Urban Renewal Agency, which doesn't require approval from lawmakers or a budget adjustment, and operates independent of civil service rules.

Jewett typically consulted on Miner's responses to national issues like a Supreme Court nominee or immigration policy. He fielded some inquiries from reporters that were sent to City Hall staff.

He often worked behind the scenes, remaining in Albany and going largely unnoticed by other city staff, lawmakers and local media.

Jewett was the first person to donate to Miner's campaign, giving $500 on June 8.

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