Self-Financing Candidates Falter in New York 26th District Special Election

Two self-financing candidates went down to defeat in Tuesday’s special election in the New York 26th Congressional District, as Democrat Kathy Hochul scored an upset victory in a district that is one of the most Republican-leaning areas of the Empire State.

According to research by, Hochul raised about $1.07 million for her congressional bid, with $250,000 — or about 23 percent — coming from her personal funds.

This was about $1.6 million less than either of her two main opponents, Republican Jane Corwin and Republican-turned-Democrat-turned-independent Jack Davis, who each relied heavily on their own personal funds in the race.

During the 2010 election cycle, only 11 of 58 federal candidates who contributed at least $500,000 to their own campaigns prevailed on Election Day in November. That’s less than one in five.

The competitive three-way race in Western New York also lured more than a dozen outside groups into the political fray. Together, they poured about $2.3 million into the contest.

For a full accounting of the New York 26th Congressional District special election, which was prompted by the bizarre resignation of former Republican Rep. Chris Lee, CLICK HERE.

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