- Associated Press - Friday, October 3, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo is entering the final month of his re-election campaign with a huge financial advantage over Republican opponent Rob Astorino, according to new campaign finance reports.

Astorino, the Westchester County executive, had $1.27 million in his campaign account as of Friday, according to a disclosure filed with the state. He reported having raised $1.48 million since mid-July. The campaign spent $2.65 million over the same period.

Cuomo, a Democrat seeking his second term, reported more than $23.7 million on hand, down from $35 million in July. His campaign has raised $3.6 million since then.

Polls show Cuomo has a significant lead over Astorino, who remains little known among many voters. Astorino has said he expects the race to tighten in the weeks before the Nov. 4 election, but so far his financial disadvantage has limited his campaign’s ability to advertise.

Astorino spokeswoman Jessica Proud said he is pleased with the support he’s received. Cuomo’s financial advantage won’t matter to voters unhappy with his administration, she said.

“Our campaign is a grassroots movement,” Proud said. “In Cuomo’s New York, only the wealthy well-connected few get ahead.”

A spokesman for Cuomo’s campaign declined to comment Friday.

Another round of campaign finance disclosures is due Oct. 24, the final reporting deadline before the election.

Cuomo has agreed to two debates with Astorino: a one-on-one radio debate in New York City and a televised debate in Buffalo that would feature the governor, Astorino and two third-party contenders also on the ballot: Howie Hawkins of the Green Party and Libertarian candidate Michael McDermott.

Dates for the debates have not been announced.

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