Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and City Councilmembers Brad Lander (D-Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington, Gowanus), Robert Cornegy Jr. (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights) and Antonio Reynoso (D-Williamsburg, Bushwick, Ridgewood Queens) all brought in big bucks towards the 2021 city elections, according to the latest City Campaign Finance Board filings released Wednesday.
Adams, who is running for the open mayoral seat, raised a whopping $2,331,032 while spending a paltry $366,444 to leave nearly $2 million in his campaign war chest. In comparison to the other expected mayoral candidates, only City Comptroller Scott Stringer raised more, $2,666,690, while Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. raised $1,252,886, and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson raised $790,220.
Meanwhile, Lander, who is running for City Comptroller hauled in $468,977, far outraising other comptroller candidates including Manhattan State Sen. Brian Benjamin ($265,731), Manhattan City Councilmember Helen Rosenthal ($136,520) and Queens Assemblyman David Weprin ($108,155).
With over $220,000 of these donations eligible to be matched by the City’s public match, which is 8:1 in dollars, Lander is eligible for $1.79 million in public matching funds. In combined private and public funding, Lander has raised nearly $2.3 million, half of the $4.5 million spending cap for the comptroller’s race.
“I’m excited to be building momentum by running a grassroots campaign accountable to hard-working New Yorkers,” said Lander. “That’s how we’ve won economic fairness for fast-food workers, Uber & Lyft drivers, car-washeros, and freelancers. That’s why we brought participatory budgeting to NYC. And that’s how we’ll make sure the NYC Comptroller’s office is accounting for our values.”
In the expected battle to succeed Adams as Brooklyn Borough President, Cornegy raised a solid $150,927 while Reynoso raised a very respectable $84,602, of which over $40,000 is matchable.
“I am humbled by this support from across Brooklyn for my Borough President campaign. I have worked hard throughout my career to make our borough more equitable – standing up for environmental justice, fighting for quality education in every school, protecting affordable housing, pushing for criminal justice reform, and encouraging smart economic development. We have a long way to go until June 2021, and I am excited to continue sharing my plans for the future of Brooklyn,” said Reynoso.
One of the surprises in the borough president’s race is that popular City Councilmember Rafael Espinal (D-Bushwick, East New York, Cypress Hills) dropped out on Thursday.
“As a born and raised Brooklyn boy, I believe there is no greater honor than to serve as the Brooklyn Borough President, but after months of consideration, I have decided not to continue my campaign,” said Espinal in a statement. “I want to be clear. Given my record and ability to work with all Brooklynites, I truly believe that I could have put together a strong and winning campaign. Right now is just not the time for me.”
Interestingly, one more candidate emerged in the borough president’s race and that is Brookdale Hospital Executive Khari Edwards, who raised a very respectable $47,975 since November, including $26,800 in matching public funds, which could make him a player in the race.
Prior to working for Brookdale, Edwards has worked behind the scenes in various capacities for numerous elected officials, not-for-profit organizations and city agencies strengthening communities by connecting and collaborating.
Among the local City Council races with several open seats, Lander’s high-monied 39th council district raised the most with UFT Union Rep Briget Rein raising $65,495 followed by political and cultural entrepreneur Justin Krebs raising $49,352, Lander community liaison Shahana Hanif raising $32,738 and former New Kings Democrats President Brandon West raising $15, 217.
In term-limited City Councilmember Mathieu Eugene’s (D-Flatbush, Prospect Lefferts Gardens) 40th Council District, Brian Cunningham who ran a spirited campaign against Eugene in 2017 jumped out of the gate raising an impressive $20,297, but will likely get a stiff challenge from Democratic District Leader Josue (Josh) Pierre, who hasn’t started raising money yet, but whose cousin is Brooklyn Democratic Party Boss Lady Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte.
In term-limited City Councilman Alan Maisel’s (D-Canarsie, Mill Basin, Flatland) 46th Council District, Gardy Brazela raised $18,845, while Judy Newton was right on his heels raising $15,310.
Young upstart Steven Patzer raised a solid $14,256 in seeking term-limited City Councilman Mark Treyger’s (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend) 47th Council district seat, while Steve Saperstein raised $21,203 as an undeclared candidate, but who is rumored to be looking at term-limited City Councilman Chaim Deutsch’s (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Homecrest, Midwood) 48th Council District seat.