Political Arena

Klein raises nearly $1 million


State Sen. Co-Majority Leader Jeff Klein raised about $900,000 since January for his campaign, according to a spokesperson. She said that gives him more than $2 million in cash on hand to fund his fight to keep his seat in the face of a primary challenge from former Councilman Oliver Koppell as well as help other candidates of his choosing.

Details of Mr. Klein’s filing with the state Board of Elections were not available as of press time.

Mr. Koppell said he could not yet provide his figures on Tuesday afternoon. But progressive website the Daily Kos reported raising nearly $73,000 from more than 3,600 people since it began an online drive for the former councilman earlier this year.

It was almost certain that Mr. Klein raised more money than Mr. Koppell. In the wake of a recent announcement from Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins that she will not support Mr. Koppell — while Mr. Klein promised he will not support Councilman Fernando Cabrera’s bid to take Bronx state Sen. Gustavo Rivera’s seat — things are not looking good for the former councilman’s campaign. Still…

Don’t count out Koppell

A day after Mayor Bill de Blasio’s July 8 endorsement of Mr. Klein, the editor of The Press ran into the former councilman on a Metro-North train. In the space of less than 30 minutes, Richard Stein observed Mr. Koppell receive three phone calls from people urging the candidate to drop out of the race. 

While he would not specify who has exhorted him to end his campaign, Mr. Koppell confirmed he has received a number of phone calls from people connected to Mr. de Blasio and others who have endorsed Mr. Klein.

“I believe the people were calling me essentially at the behest of the mayor,” he said. “But I don’t believe they have my best interest at heart.”

Mr. Koppell said callers have told him since the odds are so strongly against him, it would be best if he just bowed out.

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