Brownsville City Council Race: Filings Show Samuel, Butler and Olivera Ahead In Money Train

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In a race to raise the most money, Alicka Ampry-Samuel, Henry Butler and Deidre Olivera were the top finishers in their respective campaigns to replace term-limited City Council Member Darlene Mealy in the 41st District, according to the city’s Campaign Finance Board’s (CFB) latest filing deadlines released today.

Alicka Samuel

The CFB administrates the public financing program of city election campaigns with a $6-to-$1 match for a certain amount of dollars each candidate raises. Participating candidates must meet a two-part threshold–raise a minimum of $5,000 and have 75 individual contributors within the district they are running in. The maximum threshold for public funds is $100,100 for a City Council race with a maximum total spend of $182,000 per candidate in the primaries and another $182,000 in the general election.

Samuel raised with $56,569, which after expenses netted out to $46,199 with $27,000 in funds being raised between January and March and the last $14,000 in this last filing period. However, Samuel does have a $15,000 loan against her campaign.

Based on her final filing, Samuel appears to have raised most of her funds within district, having 268 total contributors and more than half of her balance ($26,665) coming from within the New York City area. In addition, of her total raised, Samuel had about one-fourth or $10,995 in matching claims.

Henry Butler

Butler netted $18,588 after expenses, having the highest total contributors at 276. The majority of Butler’s funds were from within NYC at $30,940 and only $3,849 coming from outside. Based on the final filings it seems that Butler has strong support from his district and also is the only one to have maxed out on his matching funds limit at $16,255.

Olivera who as a relative newcomer to citywide politics is considered a dark-horse in the primary race, was able to use her grassroots support to raise an impressive net amount of $16,334, after expenses, to finish right behind Butler.

Olivera like Samuel, also took out a loan, for Olivera’s campaign it was in the amount of $10,000. The Brownsville Native raised most of her funds in the last two filing periods, raising $15,208 of her net total between January and May. Olivera has only $5,334 in matching claims a significant amount less than her two strongest opponents. This could prove to be a weakness in a race where matching claims are pivotal to running a successful campaign.

Deidre Olivera

Political sources close to the Olivera campaign, however, insist that she is the candidate to watch and is running an independent campaign away from the typical political institutions in the area such as the Vanguard Independent Democratic Association (VIDA), which is supporting Butler, and the Assemblywoman Latrice Walker-led political machine endorsements of Samuel.

Olivera is followed by Cory Provost who started out as one of the front-runners in the race, but appears to be slowing down. Provost raised a net amount of $10,349 after expenses and has the second highest matching claims amount at $11,378.

Kathleen Daniel looks to have been left in the dust with a net amount of $3,094 after expenses. However, her final filing has yet to be updated on the CFB site where she is registered as a “participant”. If Daniel looks to continue in the program, she will need another $2,322 to meet the threshold requirement for matching claims, on top of the required 75–she currently only has 71– contributions within the district.

Sources say that Daniel should be able to reach the minimum requirements and will have most of her backing from the Charter Schools.

The district covers Brownsville and parts of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights and East Flatbush. The primaries are on Sept. 12 with the general election taking place on Nov. 7.