Cuomo raises campaign cash at lake
The Democratic governor has made the Sands family compound on Canandaigua Lake a regular fundraising stop
ALBANY — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo traveled Tuesday to Ontario County to raise campaign cash at a fundraiser hosted by the Sands family, the largest shareholder of beer-and-wine giant Constellation Brands.
Cuomo personally attended the campaign fundraiser at the Sands family compound on Canandaigua Lake, according to three people with knowledge of the event. About 25 people were in attendance.
The Democratic governor raised intrigue Tuesday when his office updated his official public schedule to note he would be in Ontario County, declining to provide further detail.
Cuomo, a prodigious political fundraiser, has made the Sands property a regular stop when raising campaign cash.
Over the past decade, Cuomo has personally attended at least four campaign fundraisers hosted by the Sands family, whose multi-billion-dollar Constellation Brands portfolio includes Corona and Modelo beers.
So in some ways, it came as little surprise when the Democratic governor swung by the Sands' lake compound Tuesday to mingle with big-money donors.
Tuesday's fundraiser, however, came as Cuomo continues to lead the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and has maintained strict restrictions on gatherings, limiting them to no more than 50 people.
With about 25 attendees, Cuomo's event would not have run afoul of that limit. Guests were required to use masks and have their temperatures checked at the door, according to one of the people with knowledge of the event.
Representatives for Constellation Brands, which is based in the town of Victor, did not return emails seeking comment.
The Sands family has been among Cuomo's most reliable campaign donors dating back to his time in the attorney general's office.
The family hosted Ontario County-based fundraisers for Cuomo in 2009, 2013, 2016, 2019 and on Tuesday.
Typically, those fundraisers have been attended by a small number of donors — including many members of the Sands family — willing to pay a high admission price.
In 2019, Cuomo's campaign logged 11 donations from people with Rochester-area addresses on July 2, the day after a Sands fundraiser, according to state Board of Elections records.
Those donations each ranged from $5,000 to $20,000, including $70,000 total from five Sands family members, $10,000 from shopping mall magnate Thomas Wilmot and $5,000 from hotel/restaurant owner Goonjit "Jett" Mehta,
Cuomo's next campaign finance filing isn't due until January, when donations made at Tuesday's fundraiser will be revealed. He is not up for re-election until 2022.