NEW YORK (AP) — An appeals court has handed a victory to wealthy backers of New York City mayoral candidate Joe Lhota.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that individuals can contribute more than $150,000 to a group supporting the Republican nominee.

The decision reversed a lower court ruling denying New York Progress and Protection PAC relief in its lawsuit against state election officials.

The suit had accused election officials of violating the political action committee's First Amendment right to advocate for Lhota by setting a $150,000 contribution limit.

The group had said it had lined up a donor who wanted to give $200,000.