Ben Walsh leads fundraising for Syracuse mayoral race with a quarter-million dollars

By Chris Baker |

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Ben Walsh has collected more than a quarter-million dollars in his attempt to win City Hall in November.

Walsh, an independent candidate for Syracuse mayor, has far out-paced his opponents in fundraising, collecting large sums from downtown developers, among others. He’s raised $253,000 so far from more than 400 donors.

The second-biggest fundraiser in the mayor’s race is Democrat Joe Nicoletti, who received $132,000, including a $20,000 loan from himself.

Walsh has received significant financial support from Syracuse’s deep-pocketed real estate developers, and has hosted several high-dollar fundraisers. He’s also spent more than anyone else — $84,000 this year, including a $1,000 donation to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, and $250 to Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, a Republican.

Democrat Juanita Perez Williams raised just more than $80,000, almost all of which came from local donations less than $1,000. Her three largest donors were a trio of attorneys from San Diego, California, who each gave $1,895: Gregory Vega, Thomas Turner and Michael Dowd.

Republican Laura Lavine has raised $62,000. More than $23,000 of that came from her family members and herself. Her brother, Gary Lavine, is her top donor. He gave $15,000.

Lavine received financial support from most of the county’s top Republicans: Comptroller Bob Antonacci ($1,000), District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrck ($500), County Sheriff Gene Conway ($250) and County Clerk Lisa Dell ($50).

Mahoney did not donate to any candidate’s campaign, nor did Cuomo or Mayor Stephanie Miner. Miner’s husband and stepson both gave money to Democrat Andrew Maxwell before he dropped out of the race. Mahoney’s top deputy, Bill Fisher, gave Walsh $1,675.

Democrat Marty Masterpole raised just more than $49,000. Chris Fowler, who is running as a Libertarian, raised $11,375. Democrat Alfonso Davis raised $5,200. No campaign filing was available for Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins. Democrat Raymond Blackwell has not created a fundraising committee, which means he has not raised more than $1,000.

In all, candidates have raised $623,000 in the race. The job of mayor pays $115,000 per year.

Below are fundraising totals for each candidate, including Maxwell, who is no longer in the race. Check back in the coming days for more about individual candidates a complete, searchable list of all donors.

Syracuse mayor’s race fundraising

Candidate Total receipts Total expenses Cash on hand
Ben Walsh $253,217.23 $84,161.67 $169,055.56
Joe Nicoletti $131,957.51 $28,136.79 $103,820.72
Juanita Perez Williams $80,379.81 $48,637.51 $31,742.30
Laura Lavine $62,031 $51,130.86 $10,900.14
Marty Masterpole $49,198.00 $28,148.58 $26,530.59
Andrew Maxwell $29,562.20 $12,520.29 $17,041.91
Chris Fowler $11,375 $10,789.19 $585.81
Alfonso Davis $5,262.49 $3,562.46 $2,240.03
Howie Hawkins N/A N/A N/A
Raymond Blackwell N/A N/A N/A