Hochul – the former lieutenant governor who in August was sworn in as the state’s first female governor, succeeding Gov. Andrew Cuomo – earlier this week reported hauling in an off-election-year record $21.6 million in fundraising since taking over as governor.
And Hochul, a moderate Democrat from western New York state, entered the election year with a formidable $21 million in her campaign coffers.
One of her biggest donors, according to her financial disclosure report, was comedian and television star Jerry Seinfeld.
Seinfeld, who’s a registered Democrat, contributed $50,000 to Hochul. That tied Seinfeld for the 44th largest donation on the governor’s list of contributions. A spokesperson for Seinfeld declined to comment on his political donation.
New York state's limit for individual donations in the 2022 gubernatorial race is $69,700 – with $22,600 for the primary and an additional $47,100 for the general election. According to her report, 32 donors gave Hochul the maximum donation during the July-December filing period.
Among the other major Hochul donors are New York Mets owner and hedge fund manager Steve Cohen, Miami Dolphins owner and real estate developer Stephen Ross, billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson, New York Islanders owners Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin, former Empire State Development CEO Howard Zemsky, fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg and her husband and former Twentieth Century Fox CEO Barry Diller.
Silverstein Properties Chairman Larry Silverstein, who helped redevelop the World Trade Center site, and BLDG Management founder Lloyd Goldman also gave the maximum amount to Hochul.
Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman are two Silicon Valley figures who likewise have donated to her campaign.