Politically active hedge fund managers are the financial engine behind a new super PAC that’s making a splash in a Republican primary in rural New York. Campaign filings that landed at the Federal Election Commission on Friday show that “New York 2014” has raised $410,000 from five wealthy donors — none one of whom list an address within the 21st District.
The group has spent more than $215,000 on mail, media consultants and ad productions, all supporting rookie candidate Elise Stefanik, R. Stefanik, a former Bush administration employee, faces perennial candidate Matt Doheny. Doheny has largely relied on his personal wealth to finance his fourth attempt to win the congressional seat.
New York 2014 is backed by campaign heavy hitters Kenneth Griffin, of Citadel LLC, and Paul Singer of Elliott Management, the pro-gay marriage Republican who’s been active in races across the country.
Griffin recently made headlines for giving the single largest campaign contribution in Illinois history, the Chicago Sun Times reports, a hefty $2.5 million donation to the gubernatorial campaign of Republican Bruce Rauner.
The other contributors to the super PAC also hail from the financial sector. Robert Mercer of Renaissance Technologies gave $100,000. Cliff Asness, principal at AQR capital cut a check for $50,000 and the Indianapolis-based Allan Hubbard chipped in $10,000 to the committee.
Seven figure ad buys fueled by hedge fund millionaires make up just a fraction of the race’s total spending. American Crossroads, the Karl Rove-linked super PAC, has poured nearly $800,000 into the primary, blasting Doheny as irresponsible and a “perennial loser.”
Politically active groups have already spent more than $3 million on the election.
Political handicapper Stuart Rothenberg ranks the seat as a pure toss-up in the general election. Republicans see a chance to flip the district as two-term incumbent Rep. Bill Owens, D, announced that he will retire at the end of his term. Primary voters head to the polls June 23.