The city Campaign Finance Board doled out more than $10 million in public matching funds to six Democratic mayoral candidates Thursday — with the largest award of $3.7 million given to Andrew Yang. That brings the total shelled out so far by the CFB to a
Published: 2021-04-15 07:17 pm
New Yorkers paying historic price to replace Bill de Blasio as mayor

The city Campaign Finance Board doled out more than $10 million in public matching funds to six Democratic mayoral candidates Thursday — with the largest award of $3.7 million given to Andrew Yang.

That brings the total shelled out so far by the CFB to a record shattering $21.9 million in taxpayer matching funds to the mayoral candidates running in the Democratic primary thus far.

That’s more than double the $10.4 million parceled out to five candidates for the entire 2013 election — the primaries and the general election. The CFB only spent $5.9 million in 2017, when Mayor Bill de Blasio easily won re-election to a second term.

It’s the first time Yang has qualified for matching funds since entering the race earlier this year.

“Let’s go New York! I am so proud of the outpouring of support from New Yorkers across the city that helped us unlock over $3.7 million in matching funds today,” Yang said.

Andrew Yang campaigning in Jackson Heights on April 13, 2021.
Dennis A. Clark

“These funds will be critical to getting our message out to every New Yorker about our vision for building a vibrant, hopeful, and thriving city over the next four years. Our people powered campaign is just getting started — I can’t wait to keep meeting and talking to all of you in the weeks ahead!”

Yang received contributions from 15,600 donors, including 6,300 from New York City supporters, to earn the matching funds.

Dianne Morales

According to records filed with the CFB, Yang raised about $2.1 million in private donations and has a campaign balance of $5 million after paying expenses of $845,000.

The rules are more generous to candidates than during the last citywide campaign. Candidates are eligible for public dollars for the first $250 of a contribution received from a donor, up from $175. The matching funds for those donations increased from 6 to 1 to 8 to 1.

There are three more reporting periods before the June 22 primary.

Meanwhile, former city Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia and community services advocate Dianne Morales also received matching funds for the first time — $2.26 million and $2.25 million respectively.

Kathryn Garcia attends the reopening of Coney Island Amusement Parks last week.
Getty Images

Civil rights lawyer and former City Hall legal adviser Maya Wiley received $906,437 in matching funds.

The public cash infusion is a godsend for all three candidates, who had less cash on hand than some other candidates.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and city Comptroller Scott Stringer, who’ve established their campaigns earlier, have received the most matching funds when factoring in prior periods.

Adams has been awarded $5.5 million and Stringer, $5.2 milion.

Both have campaign balances of more than $7 million, according to records filed with the CFB.

But one candidate, former federal and city housing director Shaun Donovan, suffered a temporary setback when the CFB withheld funds for his campaign.

The CFB said it was investigating the relationship between the Donovan campaign
and an independent group seeking to boost the former Bloomberg and Obama insider’s flagging bid for City Hall. Campaigns are barred from coordinating with outside groups.

Donovan’s father, Michael Donovan, donated $2 million to the pro-Donovan New Start NYC Super Pac.

“The Board is deferring its decision on whether to pay public funds to the Donovan campaign today, but it has not made a determination on public funds payments nor on whether there has been a violation. The Board will seek further information in this matter from the Donovan campaign and from New Start NYC and will review that information promptly,” CFB board chairman Frederick Schaffer.

Donovan campaign manager Brendan McPhillips said “we are confident that this will be resolved quickly.”

Another candidate, former Citigroup executive Ray McGuire, opted out of the CFB program and is not receiving matching funds.

McGuire does not have to abide by CFB restrictions on donations and has raised $7.4 million in private donations and has $3.6 million in cash on hand.

Two Republican candidates, Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa and taxi-bodega advocate Fernando Mateo have not qualified for matching funds.

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