The Campaign Finance Board released their first round of matching funds today and candidates in the nine-person race for City Council District 43 covering Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst and Bath Beach overwhelmingly lead the entire city in getting public funds for their campaigns.
Five of the nine candidates, including Nancy Tong (D), Rev. Khader El-Yateem (D), John Quaglione (R), Liam McCabe (R) and Kevin Peter Carroll (D), vying for the seat received maximum funds of $95,095 with Justin Brannan (D) coming close to the limit with $94,382.
Public funds are paid to participating candidates who qualify for contributions raised from New York City residents. Each candidate must raise at least $10 from 75 residents within the district, and $5000 from city residents, of which only the first $175 counts to receive the $6-to-$1 public funds match. Each contribution from a city resident could be worth up to $1,050 in public funds to that candidate.
“I am so grateful for all of the support I have received,” said El-Yateem. “We maxed out in public funds, and did so without the help of developers, corporate lobbyists, or the political establishment. This campaign has given people in the district something to believe in, especially those who have been left out by politics as usual. I am proud of the work we have done together and look forward to serving the community as our next council member.”
El-Yateem and the other Democratic candidates still face a heavily contested primary with four of the five candidates receiving matching funds, but the competition becomes a little less dense on the Republican side.
McCabe said his campaign brought in the highest number of individual contributors of all the Republicans in the field. “As a result, we got the maximum amount of matching funds in this first round and we will use those funds wisely to continue to connect with voters and get the message out. I am thankful for the widespread community support that this shows and I am excited for this next phase of the campaign,” said McCabe.
Presumably the five candidates with campaign funds totaling half of a million dollars separate themselves from the nine-person race. But candidates Bob Capano (R), Lucretia Regina-Potter (R) and Vince Chirico (D) are not waving a white flag just yet.
Chirico and Capano are relying on the next allocation of public funds to be distributed on Aug. 17. Both candidates say they are confident they will receive matching funds then. Regina-Potter questioned the matching funds process and said she prefers to depend on the support of the people who come out to vote.
“I have completed the necessary paperwork to participate in the matching funds program, but as a fiscally conservative candidate I agree with the basic Republican party principles that taxpayers should not be funding political campaigns,” said Regina-Potter.