$100K race: Money flowing in as Budelmann, Susman vie for Cayuga County surrogate judge

The candidates for Cayuga County Surrogate Court judge, from left, are Jon Budelmann and Ben Susman. 

The race for Cayuga County Surrogate Court is the most expensive local campaign this year — and it’s not close. 

The two candidates for surrogate judge, Jon Budelmann and Ben Susman, have raised nearly $108,000 since launching their campaigns earlier this year. Susman, who is running on the Democratic and Working Families party lines, had the early financial advantage when he reported receipts totaling $40,331 in July. Budelmann, the Cayuga County district attorney who will appear on the Republican and Conservative lines, raised $11,579. 

But according to the campaigns’ 32-day pre-election filings, Budelmann has closed the gap. He raised $37,501 in three months. He received support from current and former elected officials, including $500 from former state Assemblyman Gary Finch and $250 from state Sen. Peter Oberacker. Two unions, New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association and New York State Law Enforcement Officers Union Council 82, also gave to his campaign. NYSCOPBA donated $800, while Council 82 chipped in $400. 

Susman raised $18,522 since July, but he outspent Budelmann. His campaign reported expenses totaling $34,272 — over $8,000 more than Budelmann’s $25,850 in expenses. Both campaigns have largely spent money on advertising, fundraisers and printing costs. 

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The notable donors to Susman’s campaign include himself. He gave $1,500 to support his bid for surrogate court judge. He also received $430 from Norm Chirco, a Cayuga County attorney. 

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