It’s the bane of most candidates existence: fundraising. Massive amounts of time spent cold calling potential donors and asking for money. It’s particularly tough for candidates with a progressive ethos like Democrat Cynthia Nixon who has vowed to take no corporate money while relying on smaller donations to at least project the image of a campaign based entirely on grassroots support.

But fundraising is a must. Particularly if Nixon is going to compete with Andrew Cuomo’s formidable $30 million campaign war chest. Moreover, Cuomo is actually an exception to the above rule. He enjoys fundraising and holding splashy events with fat cat contributors. But if the donor community and the establishment of old New York Democratic money is on Cuomo’s side in this campaign, it could suck up a lot of the oxygen, which is why Nixon’s team is so critical.

The Nixon campaign will announce shortly that they have hired Monica Barnes as their Finance Director. Since 2013 Barnes has served as Major Gifts Officer, and Fundraising Consultant to Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Certainly a base of supporters who Nixon will be eager to tap into if she is going to stay competitive. Money isn’t everything, of course. But it certainly helps get one’s message out. Especially in the expensive ad buy world of New York City.

In a statement, Rebecca Katz a spokesperson for Nixon says,

We are excited to bring on Monica Barnes, an extremely talented fundraiser with decades of experience, most recently with Planned parenthood. There’s no better person to help our campaign reach out to all new donors – particularly women – who have been energized by this unique moment in American History.

Nixon has also hired Elana Leopold as a consultant to the campaign who is helping out with fundraising. Leopold served as Finance Director for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2017 campaign. And sources say she has been reaching out to Cuomo donors via email to help raise funds for Nixon, some of whom have let her know they are siding with the Governor in this race.

One Democratic insider quipped,

Hiring de Blasio’s entire theater troop only feeds the fact that she’s his puppet. I get it: The longer this entire production runs, the less focus they’ll be on City Hall’s many failures.

De Blasio is a lot of things, but he is not particularly well known for his fundraising prowess. Cuomo has indicated he believes the Mayor helped prompt Nixon to run in the first place. Certainly before Nixon actually announced, and in the very early stages of the campaign some viewed her challenge as at least partially an extension of the de blasio-Cuomo feud. But at some point, the campaign becomes all about the candidate. Much like after being elected to term two, de Blasio now owns the problems at NYCHA, and after two full terms Cuomo kinda owns the subways. It’s just what happens. You want this job, buck stops with you.

In addition to building a fundraising operation, Nixon has been stitching together a coalition of liberal advocacy groups that have spent years challenging Cuomo with sit-ins, demonstrations and press conferences denouncing the Governor’s policies. In a Democratic primary this year you couldn’t really have a better narrative which pits the outsiders against the more entrenched interests for the soul of the Democratic Party. It’s a microcosm of what is happening nationally, and all eyes are gonna be on New York this year.