Neuhaus campaign has $15K after first year in office

Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus finished his first year in office with a little over $15,000 in his campaign account, almost exactly the same amount he had a year earlier.

The six-month financial report that the Republican’s campaign filed this month indicates he raised about $35,000 since mid-July but spent roughly the same amount, resulting in no net gain. His donor list includes a litany of aides and management-level employees who probably attended his fundraisers, plus some of the same county contractors and business-seeking professional firms that poured money into the coffers of his predecessor, Ed Diana. One big difference is that a new county law championed by Legislator Mike Anagnostakis now limits contractors to giving the county executive no more than $4,000 over a four-year term.

One major benefactor who helped fill the void for Neuhaus during the last reporting period was Warwick businessman Bob Schluter, who was a major contributor to Warwick Supervisor Mike Sweeton’s campaign when Sweeton and Neuhaus were competing (along with Diana) for the Republican endorsement for county executive in 2012-13. Neuhaus’ report indicates that Schluter kicked in $11,250 in four separate payments in August.

The county executive’s second biggest check, for $3,000, came from Renew New York PAC, a money cannon funded largely by former New York Sen. Al D’Amato.

Neuhaus’ report also indicates he retained the services of longtime Republican consultant Jay Townsend, who lives in Cornwall-on-Hudson and previously did work for Diana (and challenged Chuck Schumer for Senate in 2010). The Townsend Group was paid $2,500 on Dec. 15.

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