Round 1: Three Candidates Will Split $2M In Public Matching Funds In The Public Advocate’s Race

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BROOKLYN – Three candidates get an early boost in the public advocate’s race after the New York City Campaign Finance Board (NYCCFB) doled out close to $2 million in the first round of matching funds on Thursday.

Michael Blake, Dawn Smalls and Jumaane Williams received public funds under the new $8-to-$1 matching funds program, according to (NYCCFB). Candidates qualify for payments under the city’s matching funds program if they raise at least $62,500 in match-eligible, small dollar contributions, which means the first $250 or $175 from a NYC resident and collected contributions of $10 or more from at least 500 city residents.

For every $1 donated from a New York City resident, NYCCFB matched $8 up to a maximum of $2000. Qualifying candidates received the following public funds:

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  • Michael Blake received $716,133 in matching funds
  • JumaaneWilliams received $690,194 in matching funds
  • Dawn Smalls received $574,636 in matching funds

Melissa Mark-Viverito came just under the threshold with $60,896 in matching claims at the Jan. 15 disclosure deadline,and will likely apply for the next round.

“Melissa is proud to have surpassed the amount needed to receive matching funds and will continue to build her strong grassroots campaign to fix the broken subway and fight for NYCHA residents,” said spokesperson Monica Klein in a statement.

Each of the three candidates chose the new matching funds program which New Yorkers voted to approve during the Nov. 6 election. The City Council then voted to approve the program be adopted in the special election.

Candidates can choose between the new $8-to-$1 matching fundings program or the older programs which matches at a rate of $6-to-$1. To qualify for matching funds, candidates need at least 500 donors who’ve contributed less than $1,000 each, spend less than $4.5 million, make the ballot and submit the appropriate financial disclosures.

The extra cash gives candidates a considerable advantage over those who don’t qualify for matching funds. Assemblywoman Latrice Walker bowed out of the campaign Tuesday after not meeting the $62,500 threshold. She filed a little over $23,000 in matching claims.

Each of the three candidates who qualified for public funds surpassed the threshold by more than $20,000 with Williams qualifying for $120,3339. Blake qualified with $108,644 and Smalls $89,367. She released a statement after NYCFB named the matching funds recipients.

“I’m thankful to all of the supporters who contributed to this campaign,” said Smalls in a statement via email. “Thanks to everyday New Yorkers who made small donations to my campaign, we are now able to compete with candidates who are counting on their name recognition and funds they’ve transferred from other accounts to carry them to victory.”

NYCCFB will make another matching funds payment next week and a second one the week of Feb. 17. Candidates who did not qualify for the first round of matching funds can re-apply.

Councilman Yeger, who represents Boro Park, who would like to see the office of Public Advocate abolished, has been tweeting about nothing other than what a massive waste of public resources this is:

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