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Queens Chronicle

QUEENS VOTES Campaign finances: no breaks from pack

Quinn, Vallone, Stringer, Squadron ahead; James receives financial boost

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Posted: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 11:23 am, Thu Aug 22, 2013.

And the reports show that citywide races are still up for grabs among major candidates.

The following figures do not include those who have suspended their campaigns, or have reported little or no campaign fundraising or spending.

Among Democratic contenders for mayor, fading frontrunner and Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) still leads all comers with more than $8.6 million left in the bank. She received more than $3.3 million in matching funds.

Former Congressman Anthony Weiner has been plummeting in the polls, and published reports have said his fundraising ability has been crippled by scandal and possibly the influence of national Democratic leaders.

Yet he still sat second to Quinn as of Aug. 9 with more than $6.1 million remaining on hand.

Weiner has received more than $1.4 million in public money, funds he would not have received had he not run for some type of city office this year.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, with an injection of nearly $2.2 million in matching funds, has been charging hard in the polls. He has a shade over $4 million in cash reserves.

Former Comptroller Bill Thompson has more than $3.4 million on hand, including more than $1.4 million in public dollars.

Comptroller John Liu has raised nearly $3.4 million for his campaign, but was denied any matching funds in a decision that likely has doomed a campaign already stuck in single digits in the polls.

He now has $1.3 million remaining.

On the Republican side, an infusion of more than $1.4 million represents the bulk of former MTA Chairman Joe Lhota’s remaining $1.7 million war chest.

The other major Republican player, John Catsimatidis, has eschewed matching funds.

His filing lists less than $133,000 on hand and more than $4 million in liabilities. But refusing public money grants the supermarket tycoon virtually limitless ability to fund his campaign from his personal wealth.

Fellow GOP candidate George McDonald has $33,000 on hand and reported liabilities of more than $486,000.

Independence candidate and former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr. has $327,000 cash on hand.

Jack Hidary, a tech entrepreneur who is funding his own campaign, reported nearly $390,000 in the bank.

In the Democratic primary for comptroller, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has $4.6 million in the bank, including $1.46 million in public funds.

His opponent, disgraced former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, is sitting on more than $1.1 million.

Spitzer too is largely self-funding his own campaign.

On the GOP side of the ledger, John Burnett, who has spent his career in the financial industry, lists a bank balance of $30,625, and liabilities of nearly $28,000.

Three of the four major candidates to replace de Blasio as public advocate — all of them Democrats — are tightly bunched following public funding.

State Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) has $1.6 million in the bank, having received $1.4 million in city funding.

He is being followed closely by former Deputy Public Advocate and former Congressional candidate Reshma Saujani at $1.3 million, an amount bolstered by more than $907,000 in matching funds.

Councilwoman Letitia James has just under $999,000 cash on hand, helped greatly by nearly $778,000 in matching funds.

Fellow Democrat Catherine Guerriero received no matching funds, though records on the Campaign Finance Board’s website states her campaign filed a matching claim of $77,332. Her campaign is reporting a balance of $30,489, with more than $113,000 in liabilities.

In the race for the Democratic nomination for Queens borough president, Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) already has been the race’s 800-pound gorilla when it came to fundraising.

And that was before he received nearly $644,000 in matching funds. His campaign reported a bank balance of more than $1 million on Aug. 9.

Melinda Katz, who served Forest Hills in the Council and the state Senate, has the Queens Democratic Party endorsement, as well as a hefty $742,000 balance on hand, thanks largely to more than $480,000 in public financing.

Matching funds in the amount of $274,260 might have allowed state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) to stay in up to the Sept. 10 Democratic primary.

Avella terminated his campaign late Wednesday afternoon, saying he feels he can best serve the city as a senator.

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