Down to his last $300,000, Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan's campaign for Attorney General said it got a major life line Monday in the form of a $1 million fundraiser in midtown Manhattan with 300 well wishers in attendance, including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former New York Governor George Pataki, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former New York Mayor Ed Koch. His opponent, State Senator Eric Schneiderman, is said to have four times as much in his campaign coffers.
Gov. Christie said that during his eight year tenure as U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, he had come to know and work closely with Donovan. Former Mayor Koch told reporters he expected a lot of New Yorkers would vote for Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, and then cross back over to vote for Donovan, the Republican candidate.
Polls still show Donovan trailing Schneiderman, his Democratic rival. But in a race where the undecided are still in the double digits, Donovan is doing his best to close the several-point gap.
While Schneiderman has broad-based labor union support, Donovan has benefited from at least one major defection from Schneiderman. Norman Seabrooke, President of New York City's Correction Officer's Association, originally backed Schneiderman in the Democratic primary. Now, he says Albany can't wait for an Attorney General "to learn on the job. Dan Donovan's is already a prosecutor and that's what we need in Albany."
Also in attenadance was labor leader Ed Malloy of the Building Trades Council. "We had backed Rice in the primary," said Malloy, who now backs Donovan. Malloy says he's also supporting Cuomo for Governor.
Outside of the Sheraton Towers in midtown, a couple of dozen protestors held homemade signs protesting Donovan's candidacy, saying he would not protect women's reproductive rights or be tough enough of Wall Street.