Skip to content

Vulnerable NY GOP nervous about House speaker Mike Johnson’s fundraising ability

Vulnerable upstate and Long Island House Republicans are nervous about new Speaker Mike Johnson’s fundraising chops as they prepare for an onslaught of Democratic cash to oust them from power.

Johnson was elected speaker last week after Rep. Kevin McCarthy was ousted in an internal GOP coup.

The Louisiana Republican has only been in office since 2017.

While McCarthy has been a fundraising powerhouse, drawing on decades of connections from a vast network of GOP donors, Johnson does not have anywhere near a comparable apparatus — a critical issue as 2024 House races loom.

“This was one of the first concerns brought to me,” said a top staffer to one embattled New York House Republican. “McCarthy was the LeBron James of fundraising and Mike Johnson really isn’t and so how is it that you can square this circle?”

Under McCarthy’s leadership, the Congressional Leadership Fund, the SuperPAC dedicated to electing House Republicans, spent millions to get members such as Rep. Mike Lawler and Rep. Marc Mollinaro over the finish line in their upstate races.

After the midterms, McCarthy made multiple pilgrimages to their districts to personally court powerful Jewish leaders and their voting blocs.

Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-Long Island) and Rep. Brandon Williams (R-Syracuse) are also vulnerable.

The party has already written off Long Island Rep. George Santos — who has been indicted for fraud — and expects the seat to return to Democrats.

“They are extremely concerned that they will not be as well financed this cycle,” another Top GOP Hill insider said of Empire State Republicans.

Team Johnson has tried to calm the jitters, assuring members and staff that he was working with Jeff Miller, a well-connected D.C. lobbyist and fundraiser, know informally around D.C. as “Money Miller,” an insider said.

Miller did not respond to a request for comment from The Post.

The Democrat-led House Majority PAC has vowed to spend $45 million to retake seats lost in the 2022 midterm elections.

Miller did not respond to a request for comment from The Post.

In August House GOP Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) vowed to spend $100 million to save Empire State members — a figure which many now doubt is achievable.

Democrats are also honing in on Johnson’s record, eager to cast him as a right-wing extremist in ways would have been more difficulty with McCarthy, a longtime known quantity.

“Republican incumbents who are in swing districts will find that Speaker Johnson is nothing but an albatross around their necks,” claimed Jay Jacobs, chairman of the state Democratic party.

Johnson has already taken fire for past statements condemning gay people.

His wife runs a Christian counseling service which compared homosexuality to bestiality and incest.

“We have never had more donors reach out to support House Republicans. We are planning multiple joint fundraising swings in New York, and we have millions of dollars pledged to support our House GOP members in New York. I am incredibly grateful for Speaker Johnson’s strong leadership and commitment to New York Republicans. We look forward to welcoming Speaker Johnson to New York very soon!” Stefanik told The Post.

Speaker Johnson declined to comment.

Today's News.
For Conservatives.
Every Single Day.

News Opt-in
(Optional) By checking this box you are opting in to receive news notifications from News Rollup. Text HELP for help, STOP to end. Message & data rates may apply. Message frequency varies. Privacy Policy & Terms:
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.