Top Dem Recruit Ends Campaign in Targeted DCCC District—Donors Don’t Think Race is Winnable

Erin Cole
Erin Cole

A top Democratic recruit in an upstate New York district the party is hoping to flip in 2018 announced she is ending her campaign, citing unrealistic fundraising demands by the party for a race her donors don't think can be won.

Erin Cole announced in July she would be running against Republican representative Chris Collins in New York's 27th district, which the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) labeled as one of its targeted districts earlier this year. Cole, an Army veteran, was immediately celebrated by party officials for her "exciting resume" and deemed a "serious contender" in the district.

Cole announced this week on Facebook, however, that she was putting an end to her campaign because her donors are unwilling to meet the DCCC's calls for her to raise $350,000 each quarter through next November.

"After exploring this race for the last two months, I have decided to end my campaign," Cole announced on Monday.

The reasons for her decision were posted in the days leading up to the official announcement.

"The DCCC wants me to raise $350,000 every quarter, with no guarantee of support," Cole wrote over the weekend. "This is an obscene amount to raise for politicians, never mind first-time candidates."

"After speaking with multiple donors, PACs, and some unions, the majority think that a Dem can't win this district," she wrote.

Collins was first elected to Congress in 2012. He won last year's reelection fight by more than 30 percentage points.

The DCCC did not immediately respond to a request for comment on its fundraising demands.

Cole, a woman, shares the same first name as failed Florida Senate candidate and former congressman Erin Murphy. She says she is still committed to supporting the Democratic challenge of Collins.