Republican mayoral hopeful Paul Massey raised more than $850,000 in a two-month period earlier this year, his campaign said Wednesday, besting Mayor de Blasio’s $394,000 haul.
But for the second filing period, Massey spent more than he raised — this time a net $912,027 between Jan. 12 and March 11, according to information provided by his campaign. De Blasio spent $290,298 during the same period.
Massey, a real estate developer, had also outraised de Blasio in the previous reporting period, which spanned six months from July to January. He collected $1.6 million then — but spent $1.9 million.
And de Blasio’s figures, raised mostly in small donations, will get a boost from the city’s matching funds program. His campaign anticipates he will receive $456,000 in matching funds, bringing the total for the filing period to more than $850,000 — or what Massey says he’s raised. Massey has declined to participate in the matching funds program.
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Massey’s full list of donors and expenses for the period was not publicly released by the Campaign Finance Board because it was not filed before 6 p.m.
De Blasio, who hired the fund-raising team that boosted Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, received 215 contributions for $27 — the much-discussed average donation to Sanders, and in an email to supporters Wednesday night the mayor boasted he’d received 2,278 donations of $27 or less. He also racked up 193 donations for $3, a figure he specifically requested in several emails to supporters.
“Can I count on you to make a $3 contribution before tonight’s critical fundraising deadline?” a March 11 email read. “It’s important. As a NYC resident, all individual contributions up to $175 are matched SIX to ONE.”
De Blasio — who has been scrutinized for taking money from people with business before the city — raised 60% of his money from outside New York during the period, with $157,376 coming from within the five boroughs and $237,119 from outside.
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The geographic distinction was most obvious when it comes to the biggest donations the mayor received. Of the 41 donors who maxed out at $4,950, just six were from New York City — the rest called places like Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami Beach home, all near places the mayor recently campaigned. Among those who donated the maximum to de Blasio was Sean Parker, the Napster founder who ponied up $250,000 to de Blasio’s now-shuttered nonprofit, the Campaign for One New York. Parker’s wife also contributed the max.
The mayor also returned a maximum donation of $4,950 to “Sex and the City” actress and longtime supporter Cynthia Nixon, who had donated the maximum twice last cycle, in violation of the rules.
Massey’s campaign, meanwhile, touted the candidate’s numbers as a new record for any candidate’s fundraising total for the March filing period since the city’s campaign finance system was put in place in 2005, though Mayor Bloomberg, who ran for reelection as an incumbent in 2009 and won, self-funded and did not participate in the system.
De Blasio’s campaign focused on the number of donations he’d received (more than 3,000, his campaign said), and claimed their own record, saying he’d taken in more donations of $175 or less than all the candidates in the 2013 race combined. De Blasio began focusing on smaller donations after investigators began probing his relationships with larger donors.
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“Our campaign continues to focus on harnessing the grassroots energy behind the Mayor’s campaign, and we are proud to have shattered another low-dollar fundraising record,” de Blasio’s campaign finance director, Elana Leopold, said in a statement. “Of course, this strategy would not be possible without the Mayor’s record of making our city stronger and fairer by expanding Pre-K for every 4 year-old, raising wages for tens of thousands of workers while crime is at record lows, jobs are at a record high, and New York City is building affordable housing at a record pace.”
Massey is so far de Blasio’s best-funded opponent, but he still trails the mayor in early polls and name recognition. He officially kicked off his campaign Monday, but has struggled to articulate a policy on stop-and-frisk and will likely need to distance himself from his fellow Republican and real estate developer President Trump, who is unpopular in the city.
In a statement, Massey — who de Blasio’s spokesman has taken to tagging with an “(R-Larchmont)” designation for his longtime residence outside the city — dinged de Blasio for campaigning out of town.
“I have spent the last two months traveling around the City, talking with hard-working men and women from all walks of life about the issues they care about,” Massey said. “Almost without exception, New Yorkers tell me that they are ready for a new mayor. Unfortunately, Bill de Blasio (D-Ft. Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Chicago) had to fly around the country to raise money for his campaign because he and his Administration remain under a cloud of corruption.”
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