As Dana Balter and Francis Conole wait for absentee ballots to be counted, central New York Democrats are launching a “unity fund” to support whoever wins the nomination to challenge Republican U.S. Rep. John Katko in the 24th Congressional District.
The five Democrats involved in creating the fund include Roger Misso, who was a Democratic candidate for Congress until March, and Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter, who chairs the Onondaga County Democratic Committee.
Onondaga County Legislator Tom Drumm, Wayne County Young Democrats Chair Allison Kirsch and Cayuga County Democratic Chairman Ian Phillips are also part of the effort.
The fund was created through Crowdpac, a website that is similar to GoFundMe. The idea is to crowdfund donations to support the Democratic nominee in the 24th district.
Phillips estimated that the Democratic candidate will need to raise more than $2 million between now and Nov. 3 to be successful in the general election. The ability to fundraise could be hindered by the absentee ballot-induced delay.
There are more than 28,000 absentee ballots that need to be counted in the 24th district Democratic primary, but counting can’t begin until after July 1. Election boards in the district believe they will be finished counting by the week of July 6 — two weeks after primary day.