By Kristin Schultz
NISKAYUNA — It takes dollars to win elections, and in the Niskayuna supervisor’s race last year, Democrat Joe Landry outpaced Republican and eventual winner Yasmine Syed in both funds raised and spent.
According to documents filed with the state Board of Elections, Landry raised $13,439 to Syed’s $9,025, and spent $12,349 to Syed’s $4,936.
It was Syed’s first campaign, so there are no previous elections with which to compare finances.
Landry raised more money than in his previous races, for which he raised an average of $10,619. In his first run for supervisor in 2007, Landry raised $8,266 and saw an increase in contributions in subsequent campaigns.
The 2017 race was the most expensive of Landry’s six campaigns. In 2007 when Landry ran and won for the first time, he spent just under $7,000. November’s race cost more than $5,000 more than his initial bid.
Around $2,300 was spent at Mohawk Golf Club for a fundraising event and another $7,500 was contributed to the Niskayuna Democratic Committee, which spent most of its money on printing and postage expenses. Landry also made small contributions to other candidates’ campaigns.
The former supervisor raised money mostly from individuals. Itemized contributions ranged from $100 to $250 and were given by community members and a handful of town employees. Landry collected a total of $3,164 from people contributing less than $100 each.
Syed’s father, Iftikhar, was her largest donor, giving $3,500. Contributions from individuals who gave less than $100 added up to $2,875.
Syed’s documents show that her expenses were split between campaign literature and radio ads.
All the required finance reporting appears to have been filed and those reports show that the Niskayuna Republicans spent about $2,100 on yard signs, a similar amount to what the town’s Democratic Committee spent.
The deadline for filing post-election reports was Dec. 4. Neither Landry’s nor Syed’s reports appear to have been filed on time, though both were filed within a week of the deadline and well before Dec. 31, the date after which the state may begin enforcement efforts.
State officials admitted, however, that the enforcement office has been underfunded for years, and so enforcement efforts are generally focused on state-level candidates and not local campaigns.