Lots of money in the comptroller contest and the disparities between donors in the mayoral race

Highlights of the latest financial filings of 2021 candidates for New York City mayor, comptroller, president, and city council.

Jeff Reed / New York Council

Council member Mark Gjonaj is no longer seeking re-election, but the amount his campaign spent before giving up makes him the top spender among all 2021 Council candidates.

the race for controller has become a crowded business over the past two months, and it has brought a substantial amount of fresh money to what was already a fascinating race, according to campaign fundraising documents released this week.

The latest round of reports to the Campaign Funding Council set the stage for the disbursement of public funds next month and offer insight into how candidates raise and spend money with less than 100 days until the June 22 primary.

Entrepreneur Zach Iscol moved from the mayoral contest to the controller race in January and qualified for public funding last month. Council Chairman Corey Johnson, who ended his own mayoral campaign in September, brought a nest egg with him when he jumped into the comptroller’s fray last week.

Candidates who were already in the race for controllers have also shown financial flexibility over the past two months. Assembly member David Weprin has just received his first dose of matching funds. Journalist Michelle Caruso-Cabrera has outperformed everyone else in the race, raising $ 520,000 since January. She and Sen. Kevin Parker are the only major contenders to raise more than they spent, though both lag significantly behind financial leaders.

And Senator Brian Benjamin narrowly reaped more than board member Brad Lander from mid-January to mid-March *.

Still, Lander still enjoys a roughly 2: 1 cash advantage over Benjamin or anyone else. And it looks like Lander will also get the biggest matching fund payout in April, around $ 550,000 compared to Benjamin’s $ 367,500.

Big spender

No one raised more money in the mayoral race than former Citigroup executive Raymond McGuire. And no one spent more either. He has spent $ 3.7 million so far, well above the second-biggest spending man, Shaun Donovan, whose campaign has so far cost $ 1.5 million.

Looking only at the last two months since the previous reporting period, McGuire’s spending of $ 2.6 million is three times what Andrew Yang spent – and it’s the closest it can be. About $ 1.2 million of McGuire’s recent spending has been spent on advertising. McGuire’s campaign also sent out $ 123,000 in refunds, including a full return of $ 10,000 for a retired New Jersey actress who is the widow of a former United States ambassador. The contribution limit for a candidate like McGuire, who does not participate in matching public funds, is $ 5,100.


Yang and McGuire are the only two major mayoral candidates who did not use middlemen, colloquially known as “bundlers,” to raise campaign money. Scott Stringer received the most money from middlemen, $ 128,220, and has the largest active middleman, Robert Zimmerman of the Zimmerman-Edelson public relations firm, who raised $ 26,000 for Stringer. Kathryn Garcia is second with $ 43,000 raised through intermediaries.

Cash outside the city

McGuire received the most out-of-town support at $ 2.6 million. However, the majority of its donations (64%) come from the five boroughs. This is true for all applicants, but hardly for Yang. Garcia is the most New York-centric, with only a fifth of his money coming from beyond the city limits.

Different types of donors

The average donation size to McGuire ($ 1,222) is 16.5 times the average donation size to Dianne Morales ($ 74).

Candidate Average donation New York Money Money from outside New York Share NYC
Adams $ 440 $ 2,128,322 $ 867,673 71%
Donovan $ 641 $ 1,401,925 $ 802,062 64%
Garcia $ 184 $ 467,324 $ 117,629 80%
McGuire $ 1,222 $ 4,735,881 $ 2,633,301 64%
Moral $ 74 $ 421,145 $ 126,841 77%
Stiffener $ 306 $ 1,553,937 $ 480,753 76%
Wiley $ 109 $ 660,222 $ 381,500 63%
Yang $ 145 $ 1,091,525 $ 1,047,706 51%

They owe it to themselves

Mayoral candidate Sarah Tirschwell loaned $ 300,000 to her campaign last week, the biggest loan to date by the 2021 campaign. The second largest is the $ 125,000 MP Joanne Simon has loaned to his Brooklyn Borough presidential campaign, where four candidates (Councilor Robert Cornegy with $ 1 million, Simon with $ 728,000, Councilmember Antonio Reynoso with $ 619,000 and community activist Khari Edwards with $ 547,000) have over the half a million in the bank.

Cabrera consolidates its cash advance

With $ 572,000 in hand, council member Fernando Cabrera has more in the bank than his two main rivals for the president of the Bronx Borough – council member Vanessa Gibson and assembly member Nathalia Fernandez – combined, and the next round of public fund payments is likely to strengthen this lead.

Democrats lift more but hang around mightily in SIBP moneyYes

City councilor Steven Matteo retains a very comfortable financial advantage in the race for President of the Borough of Staten Island; he has $ 614,000 on hand over his possible main Republican opponent, business owner Letitica Remauro, who has $ 189,000. And the two GOP candidates have a big lead over the Democrats in the race: Lorie Honor, Mark Murphy and Radhakrishna Mohan. But the two main Dems have raised funds at a faster rate: Murphy grossed $ 60,000 in the last period and Honor $ 36,000, compared to $ 20,000 and $ 19,000 for Remauro and Matteo, respectively.

Democrats, of course, face historical and financial hurdles: There hasn’t been a Democratic Borough President on Staten Island since Ed Koch was mayor. But the long layoff between the primary and the 2021 general election would, in theory, give whoever wins the Democratic primary a chance to raise some dough and some eyebrows. In theory.

sidelined spender

Bronx Council member Mark Gjonaj chose not to stand for re-election, relinquishing the seat he won in 2013 after breaking spending records for Council races. Even though he has moved on the sidelines, Gjonaj remains the biggest spender of any 2021 Council candidate across the city, having lost $ 481,747 so far.

At the moment, it doesn’t look like anyone will catch Gjonaj. The second biggest spender, Mercedes Narcisse in Council District 46, has spent $ 148,990 to date. And the Council candidate with the most money on hand, Erik Bottcher in District 3, has spent $ 82,000 and has $ 218,000 to spend.

Find out more about these 2021 races:

*Clarification: While Benjamin raised $ 106,920 to $ 94,071 in Lander during the period Jan.12 to March 11, Benjamin also had to repay donors $ 20,975 and Lander only $ 4,071, so Lander took it in. terms of net contributions, $ 90,000 to $ 85,945.

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