Cornegy, Reynoso Come Up Empty on Public Matching Funds


The people-powered campaigns of borough president candidates and term-limited City Councilmembers Robert Cornegy Jr. (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights) and Antonio Reynoso (D-Williamsburg, Bushwick, Ridgewood) each fell a little short today.

City Councilman Robert Cornegy Jr
Antonio Reynoso
City Council Member Antonio Reynoso

That comes after the city’s Campaign Finance Board (CFB) failed to reload their campaign coffers on the agency’s first day of distributing taxpayer public financing for the 2021 citywide elections.

In order to receive the $8-to-$1 public financing match for the Brooklyn Borough President’s race, candidates must reach a threshold of raising $50,000 with contributions of $175 or less to be eligible for the matching funds.

Additionally, none of the contributions can come from people or entities with business before the city.

According to CFB figures Cornegy raised $192,877 and put in for $50,886 for matching funds, but after a CFB review of the matching claims, the CFB decided he was short of the $50,000.

“There were a couple of technicalities and we are hoping to have them fixed by January 15,” said Cornegy.

Jan.15 is the day where the CFB may issue more matching funds to candidates that were close to getting the threshold but need to amend their filings a little. 

Reynoso raised $104,682, but only put in $46,420 for matching claims falling short of the $50,000 threshold. 

Reynoso said he had submitted enough for matching claims as well, but after the CFRB combed through the donations, he came up a little short, and that after a good start to raising money, he put a halt to outreach for campaign donations due to the COVID pandemic.

The borough president’s office is the toughest threshold to reach. No one took or lost the lead as frontrunner so far in this race, said Reynoso, adding he feels comfortable that his campaign will get matching money after the next filing deadline.

Other candidates who are expected to mount strong campaigns are Hospital Executive Khari Edwards,who has raised $55,830 so far in total funds, City Councilmember Mathieu Eugene (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Ditmas Park) who has raised $10,400 so far and Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon (D-Dowtown Brooklyn, Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens Cobble Hill), who entered the race relatively late and hasn’t filed any numbers with the CFB yet.

Receiving the $8-to-$1 public financing match is crucial to all candidates looking to receive union, party and major endorsement support.

There will be a public funds payment in February based on disclosures filed on that date. There are eight public fund payments scheduled prior to the primary election on June 22, 2021.

City Council candidates must raise at least $5,000 in matchable funds to get public financing. Here’s a readout of each city council district in Brooklyn and its candidates’ payouts:

District 33 (Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Downtown Brooklyn, Dumbo, Fulton Ferry, Greenpoint, Vinegar Hill, Williamsburg)- Elizabeth Adams with $160,444, Stuart C. Sherman with $50,046, Benjamin Solotaire with $48,404, and April Somboun with $72,192.

District 34 (Williamsburg, Bushwick, Ridgewood)- Jennifer Gutierrez with $94,582.

District 35 (Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, Bedford Stuyvesant)-Crystal Hudson with $160,444.

District 38 (Red Hook, Sunset Park, Greenwood Heights and portions of Windsor Terrace, Dyker Heights, and Boro Park)- Alexa Aviles with $106,750.

District 39 (Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Columbia Waterfront, Gowanus, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Borough Park, Kensington)-Shahana Hanif with $160,444, Justin M. Krebs with $154,470, and Brandon West with $117,409.

District 40 (Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Midwood, Prospect Park, and Prospect Lefferts Gardens)- Rita C. Joseph with $145,958, Blake Morris with $54,697, and Josue Pierre with $115,003.

District 42 (East New York, New Lots, Remsen Village, Spring Creek, Starrett City)- Wilfredo Florentino with $64,463 and Nikki Lucas with $126,282.

District 46 (Bergen Beach, Canarsie, Flatlands, Georgetown, Gerritsen Beach, Marine Park, Mill Basin, Mill Island, Sheepshead Bay)- Gardy Brazela with $157,776 and R. Dimple Willabus with $97,489.

District 47 (Bensonhurst, Coney Island, Gravesend, Sea Gate)- Steven D. Patzer with $107,312.

District 48 (Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Homecrest, Trump Village, Luna Park, Brightwater Towers, Midwood)- Steven Saperstein with $160,444.