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Assembly veterans slow to build war chest in 2008 race

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All 18 Assembly representatives are running for re-election in 2008, and at this stage none has any competition for his or her seat, according to the New York State Board of Elections. But some have been raising funds more actively than others, with contributions since January 2007 ranging from a six-figure total for freshman Assemblywoman Ellen Young (D-Flushing), all the way down to zero for veteran legislators Nettie Mayersohn (D-Flushing), Michele Titus (D-Far Rockaway), Ivan Lafayette (D-Jackson Heights) and Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills). Assemblywomen Ann Margaret Carrozza (D-Bayside), and Barbara Clark (D-QueensVillage) filed "no activity" statements with the state Board of Elections, meaning neither raised nor spent from their campaign accounts.The largest war chest at this stage in the campaign belongs to Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria), with $259,960, but state Board of Elections records show he started with an opening balance of about $271,000 and then brought in half as much in contributions as he spent. A close second is Mark Weprin (D-Little Neck), who began with a balance of $198,733 and raised $95,975, leaving him with $224,214 after subtracting expenses. Third in the group is Young, who won a nail-biter three-way race in 2006 against candidates Grace Meng and Julia Harrison and probably expects further challenges in November. She raked in $121,400 in contributions since January 2007 and now has a fund of $209,024 after deducting expenses. Assemblyman Ivan Lafayette (D-Jackson Heights) raised no contributions in this cycle but had an opening balance of $116,222, and his $1,510 worth of expenses were offset by $950 in interest payments from his bank, leaving him to file $115,662.49 for his campaign total. Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer (D-Rockaway) ranks fourth in the borough's campaign war chests, according to state Board of Elections filings. With a fund of $133,499 for the 2008 race for her seat, Pheffer drew $5,675 in contributions, but spent $21,170 from her opening balance of $148,815. Pheffer also announced her candidacy for the Queens borough presidency in 2009, for which the city Campaign Finance Board records her balance at $234,826. If she won that office, she would relinquish her Assembly seat.Most of the other candidates disclosed having a balance above $10,000 to the state Board of Elections earlier this month.Mayersohn began this campaign fund-raising cycle with a balance of about $25,335, recorded expenses of $15,292 and no contributions, which leaves $10,042 in her account. Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio (D-Richmond Hill) brought in $3,034 in contributions and miscellaneous funds, so his total bank account hovers at $11,375, according to the state Board of Elections. Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry (D-Corona) started the cycle with a balance of $20,695, and after accepting $2,500 in contributions to counter almost $5,200 in expenses, he has a total of about $18,000, according to his filings.Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan's (D-Ridgewood) account has $25,966 - her opening balance of $25,633 was virtually unchanged with her campaign expenses almost exactly equal to the contributions she received, according to the state Board of Elections. Assemblyman Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) also pretty much broke even between expenses and contributions, and faces re-election with a war chest of $28,982. William Scarborough (D-St. Albans) has a campaign chest of $18,118, and Titus has about $100 less than that for the race.Bringing up the rear in the campaign funds totals, Assemblywoman Vivian Cook (D-Jamaica) filed a disclosure report for $6,315, while Assemblywoman Margaret Markey (D-Maspeth) listed $4,755, and Carrozza kept a balance of $3,865 with no activity since her last run for office. Freshman Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) reported his contributions and expenses were about equal and left him with a balance of only $420.29 as of Jan. 15, according to the state Board of Elections.

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