George McDonald Vows to Stay in Race Despite Dismal Fund-Raising

Republican mayoral candidate George McDonald is trailing in the money race. (Photo: Facebook.com/McDonald2013)

George McDonald is trailing in the money race. (Photo: Facebook.com/McDonald2013)

Republican mayoral hopeful George McDonald vowed to soldier on after raising less than $4,000 in the latest filing period, raising serious questions about the viability of his campaign.

The Doe Fund founder brought in just $3,580 from March 12 through May 11, according to a campaign spokesman–a total that would be considered disappointing for even a City Council candidate, let alone someone campaigning citywide. That leaves Mr. McDonald with just $126,000 cash-on-hand–$125,000 of which came from a loan from the candidate himself.

But the numbers were not enough to dissuade Mr. McDonald, who had sued the city in a failed bid to change the rules so he could accept larger contributions from supports.

“George is committed to staying in the race, giving voters an alternative to small minded bickering,” McDonald spokesman David Catalfamo explained in a statement.

In his lawsuit, Mr. McDonald had argued that that, since he wasn’t planning to ask for the city’s public matching dollars, he should be entitled to the state’s looser standards. The campaign has argued that the suit scared off potential donors, but given his performance, it’s questionable how much his campaign would have been buoyed by the lawsuit’s hypothetical success. He is now planning to accept matching dollars.

Mr. McDonald is competing for the Republican nomination against former MTA Chair Joe Lhota and supermarket magnate John Catsimatidis.

Although his campaign has struggled to make a mark, he is banking on a scenario in which Mr. Lhota and Mr. Catsimatidis spend their time going after one another, leaving Mr. McDonald to emerge unscathed.

For his part, Mr. Lhota, who entered the race late, brought in $558,000 in contribution over the latest period–on par with the leading Democrats. He now has $871,000 cash on-hand, the campaign said. Mr. Catsimatidis, who is planning to finance the bulk of his campaign himself, has about $1 million in cash on-hand, including several thousand raised over the past two months, a campaign spokeswoman said.