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Como battles Crowley in fund−raising

Though Democratic City Council candidate Elizabeth Crowley trails Councilman Anthony Como (R−Middle Village) in fund−raising by a 17 percent margin, Como had outspent Crowley by more than 2−1 in recent weeks.

According to city Campaign Finance Board filings from Friday, Crowley had raised $111,589 while Como brought in $133,922. Both figures include matching public funds in the race for the 30th Council District seat, vacated by Dennis Gallagher earlier this year and temporarily filled by Como in a special election.

Como beat out fellow Republican Tom Ognibene and Democrats Charles Ober and Crowley. He beat Crowley by 38 votes.

The latest filing showed Como had spent $107,305 in the current race, while Crowley had only spent $44,502.

Crowley’s camp defended her strategy, noting Como had $26,617 for the final weeklong push, while she had $67,087.

“It’s reassuring, it’s a nice feeling,” Crowley said. “But it never seems to be enough. It gets spent real fast when we have over 30,000 people we’re communicating with.”

James Wu, Crowley’s spokesman, said Como’s campaign spent much of his money on fund−raisers at restaurants.

Como said he has more than enough to get through the final week, noting the primary thrust of his campaign came earlier.

“I’ve planned my campaign appropriately,” he said. “Everything was done for a reason. The problem is, too, you have to get your voice across. What happens? Do you wait until the last three days when there’s going to be a flurry of calls and letters from every campaign and office?”

In campaign literature, Como touted money he allocated to his district for library renovations, neighborhood beautification and school improvements.

“Once I was elected and sworn in we had to run an office,” he said. “We had an added burden of proving that we were doing the job and ... I think we’ve definitely proven that.”

He also promoted his lack of involvement in the discretionary funding scandal that led Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D−Manhattan) to discontinue the practice of setting up fake nonprofits to receive city funding for later use on pet projects.

Crowley said her main campaign issues have been education, quality of life, over−development, senior needs and the economy.

She said she would work to promote tax breaks and other incentives for the city’s smaller businesses.

“The city is going right now, we have to be engaging especially the middle−sized businesses,” she said. “Too often you see breaks for the large businesses. I would like to see partnerships with the smaller businesses to help create jobs.”

Crowley’s biggest donors include numerous labor unions, like Local 46 Metalic Lathers, which contributed $2,125.

Como’s top donor was the Neighborhood Preservation PAF, which donated $2,750 to his campaign.

Next week’s election will be the second phase in the complicated process to replace deposed Gallagher, who agreed to step down as part of a plea deal in a case where he was accused of raping a 53−year−old woman in the back of his office.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e−mail at jwalsh@timesledger.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 154.

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