Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand heads into the 2012 election with $8.1 million in campaign cash, according to a yearend finance report filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission.
New York’s junior senator raised $9.76 million last year, coming out of a successful 2010 campaign in which she spent $13.4 million to win the remaining two years of the six-year term that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was elected to in 2006.
Republicans George Maragos, who serves as Nassau County’s comptroller, and Marc Cendella, CEO of TheLadders.com job search website, have been traveling around the state meeting with party leaders and seeking their support to run as the GOP standardbearer against Gillibrand this November, when she will be seeking a full six-year Senate term.
Both Republicans have indicated they are willing to spend millions of dollars of their own money for the campaign.
State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox criticized Gillibrand’s campaign fundraising several weeks ago when she traveled to Geneva, Switzerland to a campaign event.
According to Gillibrand’s campaign spokesman Glen Caplin, money raised from the campaign event held in Geneva, as well as others held in London and Paris, will be reported in her first quarter 2012 campaign finance report. During the trip Gillibrand tapped into donors who are members of the organization Democrats Abroad.
“It’s not unusual, and in fact, it is quite common for American citizens living abroad to participate in the democratic process back home,” Caplin stated.
New York’s senior Democratic senator, Chuck Schumer, won a third six-year term in 2010 and won’t be up for re-election until 2016.
Schumer’s campaign committee received $645,637 in donations in 2011 and ended the year with just over $10 million.