Primary '14

Daily Kos spurs Koppell contributors


Popular progressive website the Daily Kos has raised nearly $40,000 for G. Oliver Koppell, the longtime Riverdale politician challenging state Sen. Co-Majority Leader Jeff Klein for his seat.

cThe website, which championed Mr. Koppell’s candidacy during the months before he officially declared, showed 2,289 people giving him $38,673 as of Wednesday around 1 p.m. — just over a week after Mr. Koppell kicked off his campaign.

“That’s absolutely incredible,” Mr. Koppell said in a phone interview. “I think I have more contributions now in this campaign in one week than I’ve gotten in my whole career.”

The fundraiser marked the first time the Daily Kos has endorsed a state-level candidate in New York. David Nir, the website’s political director, said in an e-mail that “our community’s engagement keeps ramping up the closer we get to Election Day, and this race should prove no different.”

Mr. Nir added that while the site does not track where the donors came from, they will provide a base of supporters Mr. Koppell can call on for his challenge against Mr. Klein.

The senator is regarded as one of New York State’s most powerful politicians. Mr. Klein also had more than $1.5 million in his campaign coffers as of January.

“Victorious challengers often find themselves out-spent by deep-pocketed incumbents. What matters is having enough money to be competitive,” Mr. Nir wrote.

Bill Samuels, a prominent Democratic operative on Mr. Koppell’s campaign committee, seconded the notion. In a phone interview, he said since the race will not play out on television, Mr. Koppell needs $400,000 to $500,000 to make a viable run.

He added that Mr. Koppell will call on young voters and others upset at the failure of various bills like the Dream Act to make a grassroots effort before the September primary.

“What Daily Kos indicates is not just the money,” Mr. Samuels said. “It indicates when that primary occurs, there’s going to be a lot of ground support from young activists and young Democrats in the city.”

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