Only two candidates for mayor will get payouts from the city Campaign Finance Board’s (CFB) Matching Funds program in the latest round — a surprising fact considering the number of people running in the 2021 Democratic primary.
After raising $2,654,426, Brooklyn Borough President Adams campaign will get $788,443 from the CFB, while city Comptroller Scott Stringer, documenting $1,813,826 in raised funds, will get $1,176,714 in campaign funds from the program, according to records.
This was based on the Jan. 15 disclosure deadline, in which Adams showed the financing lead of all the candidates involved in the 8-to-1 matching program designed to level the playing field for less moneyed campaigns.
“Eric’s campaign continues to grow every day, and these matching funds reflect the breadth and diversity of his support,” Adams campaign spokesman Evan Thies said. “Eric has a bold vision to make sure New York recovers faster and stronger — and that is why he has raised more than any other candidate and has the most to spend in this critical election.”
Other candidates such as former Civilian Complaint Review Board chair Maya Wiley, former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, former HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, former 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang and former Citicorp executive Ray McGuire either were not enrolled to receive funds or did not meet new criteria that funding has to reflect local support.
Yang’s campaign noted on Monday that they had reached the CFB’s threshold of $250,000 from a minimum of 1,000 New York City donors, hitting the $1 million mark in total. Yang announced his run for mayor on Jan. 14, just before the CFB’s filing deadline.
“The board announced that 124 candidates qualified to receive a public funds payment today. To be eligible for payment, each candidate demonstrated support from within their community by meeting a two-part fundraising threshold based on small contributions from city residents,” CFB spokesman Matthew Sollars said.
For example, Adams had up to $1,904,646 in contributions from NYC residents compared to $749,780 that came from people or entities living elsewhere. Stringer had $1,368,232 from city dwellers compared to $445,594 from beyond. This audit can result in some candidates falling behind, but the CFB allows them the opportunity to appeal.
This aspect of the Matching Funds program is meant to encourage candidates to spend more time around those who will be voting for them and less time around major donors.
The CFB said it has handed out up to $37,778,768 to the literal hundreds of candidates running for city office in the 2021 elections, which are marked but a high number of City Council seats being term-limited.