Ulrich outearns, outspends Reyes in primary

City Councilman Eric Ulrich (r.) outspent and outearned lawyer Juan Reyes (l.) in the Republican primary race for the 15th Senate District. Photo by Christina Santucci
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Over the last month leading up to the state primaries Thursday, City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) and Forest Hills attorney Juan Reyes ramped up their campaigns to win Queens’ 15th Senate District.

Ulrich, running in the Republican and Independence party primaries, earned and spent the most money, according to 2012 filings with the state Board of Elections.

He had $337,340 left in his coffers, according to an 11-day pre-primary report. In the current year running through Sept. 10, he raised $477,284 and spent $144,189. He also transferred $12,773 of his City Council re-election fund to the campaign.

Reyes, running in the Republican primary, had a total of $6,713 left in his war chest, also according to an 11-day pre-primary report. In the same 2012 filing period through Sept. 10, he raised $70,375 in contributions and his expenses totaled $81,812.

Campaign finance records could not be found for Independence Party candidate Joe Tiraco. The winner will face Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) in November.

In the 32-day pre-primary report ending Aug. 25, Ulrich’s largest contributions have mainly come from real estate. He received a total of $21,650 from real estate interests, including $10,000 from the 211 East 70 Street LP, one of the largest real estate portfolios in New York City, which is owned by the Rudin family.

He also garnered another $4,800 from labor unions over the same 32-day period. The biggest contribution was $2,500 from the Plumbers Local Union, in Howard Beach. Other labor interests that contributed to Ulrich’s campaign include the Uniformed Fire Fighters Association FirePAC and the New York State Laborers’ PAC.

Ulrich’s corporate contributions in the 32-day period totaled $1,000, coming from the K&M Improvement Corp. and Martin Associations Inc., both based in Garden City, L.I. He also received a $7,500 donation from Friends for the Election of Dean Skelos.

Ulrich’s representative also confirmed that the Republican State Senate Committee donated $250,000 to the campaign, which was not included in the 32-day report.

Many individual contributors to Ulrich’s campaign in that period came from outside Queens, including the Bronx and Nassau and Westchester counties. He received $550 from individual Queens donors, plus another $200 from a Flushing-based partnership contributor. In total, he received $11,900 from individual and partnership donations.

According to campaign finance records, Ulrich hired Michael Michel, president of Christ the King High School, for $10,000 as a consultant to run a month-long petition operation.

He also hired Margaret Ognibene, wife of former Republican Councilman Thomas Ognibene, as the campaign treasurer. Ulrich’s spokeswoman said her weekly pay is $1,500 and campaign records show she has been paid a total of $4,393 divided into two payments.

He also paid $3,803 to Multi Media in Whitestone, which is affiliated with the Queens Tribune, for printing office supplies, including letterhead and envelopes.

Juan Reyes has received $600 from corporate donations during the 32-day period ending Aug. 25, including a $500 contribution from the Trinity Realty Group and $100 from the Highbridge Development BR, LLC.

The majority of the money he raised during that period came from individual contributions at $9,200. All the contributions he received from Queens came from individuals living in Forest Hill at $2,075. He raised $2,925 from contributors who live in Manhattan, and a single contribution from one person living in the Bronx. He also had a few contributions from individuals who live as far away as Florida and Arizona, with those totaling $500.

Reyes spent $8,929 on consulting fees during the period, with most of that going to consultant Gerry O’Brien. Reyes also spent a large sum of money on petitions at $3,965. He has also spent $1,254 on fund-raisers.

Reach reporter Karen Frantz by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4538.

Updated 3:50 am, September 13, 2012
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