Gotham Gazette: The Money Race in the Democratic Mayoral Primary: March Filing Key for Matching Funds

The top tier of candidates in this year’s Democratic primary for New York City mayor continues coming into focus through a variety of metrics, including the latest campaign finance filings, which help indicate which candidates have gained traction with voters and will have the financial means to compete ahead of the June vote. In the heavily Democratic city, the party’s primary winner is the odds-on-favorite to become the city’s next mayor.

Monday marked the latest campaign finance disclosure deadline as candidates declared their fundraising and expenditure from the last two months. The filing is of particular importance to candidates trying to hit the city’s public matching funds threshold, which can result in a windfall of well over $1 million the next time public funds are disbursed by the New York City Campaign Finance Board, which will examine the filings.

Candidates can opt into the city’s matching funds program, which has new rules that give them the option to receive an 8-to-1 match for up to the first $250 of qualifying contributions from city residents. The candidates have to meet a dual threshold of raising and spending at least $250,000 from a minimum of 1,000 qualifying donors. (Candidates can also choose to follow older rules that come with a lower matching ratio and higher contribution limits, though few have made that choice.)

Donovan has raised a total of $2.2 million so far and has about $718,000 in cash on hand. His campaign claims $283,000 in matchable contributions, which would give him $2.26 million in public funds at the next payout if the Campaign Finance Board agrees with the campaign’s numbers. He had 3,438 donors and an average donation of $641. He has raised $1.4 million from city residents and about $802,000 from non-residents. 

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