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NY Gov. Candidate Promises TV Ads

September 4, 1998

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ Conceding her millionaire husband has cut back on her campaign money supply, Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey Ross promised much-delayed TV advertising anyway in the final days of her bid to win the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Questions about whether McCaughey Ross’ husband had tightened the campaign purse strings have swirled for weeks, and she removed any doubts about money troubles Thursday.

``For reasons unrelated to this campaign, and for personal financial reasons, my husband Wilbur Ross has reduced his financial contribution to the campaign,″ she said in a statement.

It marked a dramatic setback for the woman who was a frontrunner earlier this year, according to independent polls. She became a Democrat a year ago after a falling out with the man she’s challenging, Republican Gov. George Pataki.

As of mid-August, McCaughey Ross’ campaign account showed a balance of $2.6 million, almost all of it from her Wall Street investment banker husband.

She did not say how much money her husband had withdrawn. He did not return a telephone call seeking comment.

The setback forces McCaughey Ross to scale back her plans for extensive TV advertising that some say is critical to her success in the Sept. 15 primary.

Nevertheless, the lieutenant governor said she would launch an ``effective and competitive″ TV and radio ad campaign in the week before the primary.

``I enter the final week of the primary with a lighter pocketbook, but full of determination and commitment,″ she said.

Recent polls have shown New York City Council Speaker Peter Vallone edging ahead in the four-way race for the Democratic nomination. Vallone, who in mid-August had a campaign balance of $2.1 million, has been running TV ads statewide for more than a week.

Also in the race are Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes and former state Transportation Commissioner James Larocca.

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