Democracy can be costly, particularly, it seems, if you’re running for City Council in southwestern Brooklyn.
On August 3, the New York City Campaign Finance Board released information about its first payouts of matching funds for the 2017 election, and candidates in the 43rd Council District race snagged far and away the largest amount of any Council candidates citywide — a whopping $569,857.
The seat will be an open one, as current occupant, City Councilmember Vincent Gentile, is term-limited and cannot run for re-election.
As of now, nine candidates are running to replace him: Five Democrats — Justin Brannan, Kevin Peter Carroll, Vincent Chirico, the Reverend Khader El-Yateem and Nancy Tong — and four Republicans — Bob Capano, Liam McCabe, John Quaglione and Lucretia Regina-Potter.
Six of the declared candidates qualified for matching funds: Brannan ($94.382), Carroll, El-Yateem, Tong, McCabe and Quaglione (all $95,095).
The next most costly City Council race, in terms of public funding was in Manhattan’s Council District 1, where three candidates qualified for $213,964 in matching funds.
According to the CFB, “New York City’s matching funds program provides city candidates with public funds at a rate of $6-to-$1 for the first $175 contributed by City residents, for a maximum of $1,050 in public funds per contributor.”
According to Frederick Schaffer, Chair of the CFB. “The public matching funds program encourage candidates to raise small-dollar contributions in their neighborhoods, limiting the influence of large contributions from special interests, and ensuring that candidates better understand and address the diverse interests and needs of everyday New Yorkers.”