Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed Gene Berardelli for City Council over the weekend, raising the stakes in his fight against sitting Councilman Lew Fidler.
In the release from the Berardelli camp, Bloomberg cited the candidate’s work with Brigham Street Park and his efforts in downzoning a portion of Sheepshead Bay as reasons hizzonah would lend his support to the first-time candidate for public office.
“I need a fighter like Gene Berardelli in the City Council so we can keep the city moving in the right direction. I strongly endorse Gene Berardelli in the race for City Council and urge the voters of the 46th district to support him too,” said Mayor Bloomberg in the release.
With just a little over three weeks left until the election, the endorsement’s effects are questionable. Berardelli probably wont be fundraising anymore, and his meager $3,000 or so of contributions is hardly enough to do such campaign basics as send mailers to the district’s residents. But he will appear on the Republican ballot in a year in which the Republican mayor has spent record amounts on media and other materials promoting himself and the party.
But while Berardelli is able to ride off the media-inundated coattails of the sitting mayor, it appears his opponent nailed the resources necessary to buy a little attention himself.
Councilman Fidler has received more than $63,000 in taxpayer funds after submitting a statement of need to the campaign finance board. Although Berardelli has not raised nearly enough money to be eligible for matching funds from the city, Fidler was able to get three times the amount he normally would by citing the district’s past turnout for a Republican mayor, as well as submitting 40 pages of documentation that included campaign coverage by Sheepshead Bites.