Neuhaus leads Davis by $200,000 in campaign cash (updated)

Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus raised around $56,000 for his reelection campaign while spending $78,000 on it in just under 12 weeks, yet still had more than $200,000 more than Democratic challenger Pat Davis had in his coffers as of Oct. 2.

The Republican incumbent had $237,562 in his campaign coffers with a little over a month to go before the Nov. 7 election, and Davis had $33,477. Their campaigns filed their latest financial disclosure reports on Friday and Monday, covering income and expenses from July 13 to Oct. 2.

Among the largest donations Neuhaus reported were $5,000 from the New Windsor law firm Drake Loeb on Aug. 7; $2,500 from the Newburgh philanthropist Bill Kaplan on Sept. 11; and $2,500 on Sept. 28 from SecureWatch24, a Manhattan-based contractor that is installing security equipment in the Government Center. SecureWatch24′s past contributions to Neuhaus already far exceeded the county’s $4,000-per-term limit, but county officials insist the company hasn’t broken the law because its form of business organization – a limited-liability company – isn’t specifically listed in the county’s 2013 Pay to Play Law.

(Update: County Attorney Langdon Chapman points out that SecureWatch is also exempt from the county’s limit on donations from county contractors because it was hired off a list of businesses with state contracts. That was explained in a July 26 Times Herald-Record story on loopholes in the 2013 law.)

Neuhaus’ expenses included $10,000 that his campaign paid a Washington, D.C., speakers bureau to have retired Navy SEAL Robert O’Neill headline a fundraiser at Anthony’s Pier 9 in New Windsor on Oct. 4. O’Neill, known as the person whose gunshots killed Osama Bin Laden during a raid in Pakistan in 2011, is now an author who gives paid speeches about his experiences as a SEAL and the Bin Laden raid.

Most of Davis’ donations came from individuals. The top amounts were $4,000 from Michael Flynn of Pelham, N.Y., on Oct. 2, and a $3,000 contribution from Matthew May of Illinois on July 21.

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    Chris McKenna covers Orange County government and politics for the Times Herald-Record. He has been a reporter at the newspaper since 1999. Read Full

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