Mayor Bill de Blasio has raised more than $1.1 million toward his 2017 re-election bid, much of it via small contributions his campaign sought to tout today, in the wake of scrutiny over large donations to his separate nonprofit fundraising apparatus.
“We are thrilled with the support the Mayor has received from grassroots supporters in all five boroughs,” Elana Leopold, finance director for de Blasio 2017, said in a statement. “Mayor de Blasio expanded Pre-K for every 4 year-old and raised wages for tens of thousands of workers. Crime is at record lows, jobs are at a record high, and New York City and is building affordable housing at a record pace. But New Yorkers know we have to keep this progress going, and that is why there is so much energy behind our campaign.”
The money was raised for his official re-election bid—not for his now-being-shuttered nonprofit the Campaign for One New York—and as such is subject to strict donor limits and regulations on accepting cash from people with business before the city. That also means the money is subject to matching funds through the city’s public financing program, and the campaign said it expects the total to grow from $1.1 million to almost $2 million when those matching funds are received.
The announcement, one day ahead of the deadline to file with the Campaign Finance Board, comes a week after the board let de Blasio off the hook for his fundraising through the Campaign for One New York, a group that the mayor is legally allowed to use to promote issues that are key to his agenda, but not to promote his own re-election. Even as they ruled he hadn’t used the group to run for re-election, the board lambasted de Blasio for accepting through it massive donations from corporations, including developers with business before the city, that would never be allowed under the city’s own campaign finance system. The group remains under investigation by other entities.
So it’s no surprise that in recent weeks the de Blasio campaign shifted its focus to small fundraisers with small ticket prices—holding more than 20 events in the last two months across the city and taking in more than 1,000 donations below $250. (That also may be an effort to latch on to the Bernie Sanders-led movement away from large donations, which resonated deeply in the presidential primary.)
The $1.1 million haul brings the total raised for the mayor’s re-election bid to $2.23 million, or an expected $3.2 million with matching funds.
A full accounting of the donations will be available tomorrow when the campaign files with the Campaign Finance Board—along with the rest of the active candidates raising cash for any city office. And while the Campaign for One New York is currently being disbanded, it too will report its fundraising tomorrow.