Westchester Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins raised $180,774 toward his campaign to unseat County Executive Rob Astorino over the past six months and has $218,000 on hand as a down payment for the coming fight.
Jenkins said the amount is more than Astorino had in January of 2009, when he went on to beat former Democratic County Executive Andy Spano. His goal, Jenkins said, is to raise $2 million if there’s a Democratic primary and $1.2 to $1.5 million if not.
“We needed to have enough money to run a good on-the-ground campaign,” he said.
Jenkins said he will be able to attract money from outside the county and the state as well because of the historic nature of his campaign as the first African-American to run for county executive in Westchester.
But he faces an uphill fight against Astorino’s fundraising head start. Astorino has $2.2 million in the bank after raising more than $1 million in the last six months. New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, who is also seeking the Democratic nomination, raised $426,870 in the four weeks since he declared his candidacy. With money transferred from his mayoral campaign account, Bramson has more than $525,000 in cash on hand. The third Democrat in the race, county Legislator Bill Ryan, raised only $250 and has $43,000 on hand.
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Photo: Legislative Chairman Ken Jenkins looks on while Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino delivers his State of the County address at the Michaelian County Office Building in White Plains April 7, 2011. (Vincent DiSalvio / The Journal News)