A source from Basil Smikle’s State Senate campaign responded to our post about his race against incumbent Bill Perkins (a proxy fundraising battle, we argued, between the teachers union and charter school advocates) by pointing out that Smikle actually bested Perkins in fundraising this period, despite only being in the race for two months.
Smikle, the favorite of the charter school crowd, grabbed close to $146,000 this period. Perkins, by contrast raised $126,000.
Delving further into the numbers reveals some interesting details about one of the most closely-watched Senate primaries this year. Only a little over $5,000 of Smikle’s money has come from voters inside his Harlem Senate district. And while he has received some money from charter school advocates–Charles Ledley who serves on the board of Democrats For Education Reform kicked in $5,000, and Harlem Sucess Academy co-founders Joel Greenblatt and John Petry kicked in another $11,000–Smikle also received a lot of money from the real estate industry.
Jordan Barowitz, who works in external affairs for the Durst Organization, gave $200. Eric and William Rudin gave $2,500 each. Mary Ann Tighe of CB Richard Ellis chipped in $2,000. Eric Hadar, a real estate tycoon (his firm built the Citigroup Center) who was busted for cocaine in 2008, sent the campaign $5,000.
That said, Perkins has received far more in union and PAC donations than Smikle has, including over $10,000 from teachers and administrators.
Asked for comment, Kristie Stiles from the Smikle campaign said in an email, “Election day will be the best judge of who has more in-district support.”
Richie Fife, Perkins campaign spokesman, agreed, sort of. “Outsiders won’t decide who represents this district. We are grateful for the strong support Senator Perkins has, the hundreds of contributions he’s received from people in the district and look forward to the voters of the 30th Senate District deciding who will represent them the next two years.”