Big Donor Money Flows into NYC Mayoral Race; 38 Candidates Jockey for Job

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By: Ilana Siyance

The 2021 NYC Mayoral race is picking up speed and the money is rushing in.

The crowded race includes some 38 candidates.  There are over a dozen Democratic candidates in the race, as per the city’s Campaign Finance Board as of late Friday.

As per the NY Times, Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, and Scott M. Stringer, the city comptroller were the two reputed Democrats who became early frontrunners in the race.  The two were the most well- known candidates and had an early lead with ready connections and a support base, quickly raising enough to qualify for public matching.

The head fundraiser for now is Mr. Adams, who has raised $8.6 million thus far, and will have just over $8 million on hand once his latest expected $1 million of matching funds are distributed.   In the most recent period he raised $438,000, of which $123,000 was matchable.  Mr. Stringer follows closely.  His campaign is slated to have raised a minimum of $8.3 million in total, and to have $7.5 million on hand.  In the latest period he raised $458,000, and he is expecting $1.57 million in matching funds.

As per the NY Times, on Friday, another democratic candidate announced that she too qualified for the taxpayer-sponsored matched-funds program, by raising at least $250,000 from at least 1,000 donors.  Maya Wiley, a former MSNBC analyst who served as counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio, said she has raised $715,000 in funds, $280,000 of which would be matchable, qualifying her for $2.2 million in public funds.  This brings the total she has raised to nearly $3 million, as per her campaign.  Two other Democrats may have also solidified their status as contenders in the mayoral race.  Raymond J. McGuire, a former Citigroup executive, reported that he raised $5 million in funding in just three months from the business community.  Unlike the other candidates, McGuire will not be participating in the matching-funds program.   Andrew Yang, who ran for President of the U.S. in 2020, officially just joined the race on Thursday and is expected to be a strong fundraiser moving forward.

Other leading democratic candidates who participated in but did not meet the requirements for the funds matching program include: Zach Iscol, a nonprofit entrepreneur and former Marine; Shaun Donovan, a former federal housing secretary under President Obama; and Dianne Morales, a nonprofit executive who describes herself as the candidate for the lower and working-class New Yorkers.  Candidates still have a chance to qualify for matching funds at the next deadline.