BUFFALO, NY. (WIVB) – Campaign finance data released Friday shows a wide gap in spending in the race for Erie County Executive.
Mark Poloncarz, the Democrat running for his fourth term, spent more than 17 times what challenger and political newcomer Chrissy Casilio spent over the last two and a half months, according to the data.
Poloncarz reported spending large sums on big-ticket political items like television ads, campaign consulting and internal polling, dipping into his war chest to spend nearly $450,000 between late July and early October.
Casilio reported spending just over $26,000 during the same period, with her biggest expense going toward yard signs.
Casilio, a Republican hoping to win her first elected office, reported collecting $45,021 in donations in the last period, giving her just over $130,000 on hand. She has struggled to collect big-money donations since making a splash in mid-July, when she pulled in over $80,000 — roughly half of her haul — during one week. She reported receiving just one donation of at least $5,000 since.
Poloncarz, meanwhile, secured a $25,000 donation from the Erie County Sheriff’s Police Benevolent Association in August and $10,000 each from developer Doug Jemal and paving company owner Gerald Buchheit in recent weeks. Poloncarz reported having over $378,000 on hand.
The candidates are entering the home stretch of the race, with less than a month before Election Day on Nov. 7. The next round of campaign finance disclosures are due 11 days before the election.
Poloncarz and Casilio will debate at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24 in the News 4 studios. You can watch live on the CW23 and WIVB.com.
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Nick Veronica is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as the Digital Executive Producer in 2021. He previously worked at NBC Sports and The Buffalo News. You can follow Nick on Facebook, Twitter and Threads. See more of his work here.