Riverhead supervisor has raised $7K and spent $5K in 2012

TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | Supervisor Sean Walter delivering his 'State of the Town' address in March.
TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | Supervisor Sean Walter delivering his ‘State of the Town’ address in March.

Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter’s midyear campaign filings are in.

The reports, which were due July 15, show the second-term supervisor raised just over $7,000 so far in 2012, though Mr. Walter told the News-Review Monday — before the filings were posted to the state Board of Elections website — that he would be filing an amended report soon.

He said his campaign held a “big fundraiser” last Thursday, from which he had expected to raise some $10,000 to $12,000.

Mr. Walter spent about 70 percent of the money he’s raised so far, with the biggest chunk of change ($2,000) going to downtown resident Anthony Coates for political consultant fees. He paid Mr. Coates $1,000 in April and again in May, the records show.

His largest political donation of $1,500 came from Giorgios Catering LLC, which operates a catering hall in Baiting Hollow, though Mr. Walter had to return $464 of that money because of state campaign finance law. The maximum donation, which is tied to population, is $1,038 for Riverhead Town offices, Mr. Walter said.

The largest donation from a listed individual was $260 from John O’Connor of Blue Point.

Mr. Walter also listed seven contributions totaling $1,290 — the largest of which was $435 — from unnamed individuals, which happens if a campaign loses track of where a donation came from, say if the donation was cash.

Mr. Walter spent a total of $4,944.83 so far in 2012, leaving him with $2,092.52, not including returns from last week’s fundraiser.

“It’s tough to raise money and I don’t like to do it in an off election year, because you’re taking money from other candidates who are running,” Mr. Walter said in Monday’s interview. “We spent like $98,000 last year. We’ve shown our ability to be able to raise cash and I don’t know if anybody in a Town of Riverhead supervisor’s race ever raised that amount of money.

“And if we had to, we’d raise it again.”

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