If term limits are extended, the convention wisdom is that incumbents City Council members are basically shoo-ins for their current seats, in no small part because they’ve raised tons of money campaigning for higher offices already.
But they’ve also spent lots of money. Too much, perhaps.
Some City Council members have raised and spent money with eye towards a borough-wide or citywide races, but they then turn around and run for their old seats, the contribution and spending limits are much lower.
For a City Council race, the spending limit is $322,000 ($161,000 for the primary and $161,000 for the general election).
According to the Campaign Finance Board, Christine Quinn’s campaign spent $285,535.
David Weprin, an announced City Comptroller candidate, already spent $338,728.
Simcha Felder, who dropped out of the comptroller race, spent $379,798.
Melinda Katz, who says she’ll continue with her comptroller race, has spent $775,076.
Bill de Blasio, a City Councilman who is an announced candidate for Brooklyn Borough President, has already spent $227,793.
Several smart readers I’ve talked with said the Campaign Finance Board is already working on a way to address this, and possibly to roll back some of the spending limits to accommodate City Council members who unexpectedly found themselves spending beyond their limits. But as of now, it’s a potential wrinkle.