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Matching funds power their runs

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Brooklyn’s City Council candidates entering the stretch run of their exhausting campaigns received a welcome pick-me-up last week: matching funds.

So far this month, candidates have received two payments from the New York City Campaign Finance Board’s public matching funds program, for a total of $12,823,849.

“The CFB’s public matching funds program amplifies the impact of New Yorkers’ small contributions, makes candidates less dependent on large contributions, and helps candidates mount competitive campaigns with grassroots support,” said CFB Executive Director Amy Loprest.

City Council hopefuls in the 33rd (Brooklyn Heights, Williamsburg, Boerum Hill), 34th (Williamsburg), and 39th (Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens) districts are welcoming the new infusion of cash, in some instances as high as $84,122, to keep them viable in highly competitive local races.

In addition to retaining expensive campaign staff, attorneys and consultants, City Council candidates will be spending their money on posters, flyers, and literature to send directly to primary voters in their district.

In the 33rd District, which features seven Democratic candidates, Jo Anne Simon, Steve Levin, Isaac Abraham, and Evan Thies all received the maximum amount of matching funds, $84,122, this month, and Ken Diamondstone received slightly below that amount with $83,192. Simon has raised $108,064 in private funds to go along with the matching funds, with Levin collecting $96,256, Thies bringing in $87,574, Diamondstone recording $65,810 and Abraham reporting $49,141 in private funds.

Other candidates in the 33rd, including Ken Baer, received $71,626 in public matching funds to match $44,709 in private funds, while Doug Biviano collected $65,339, to go along with $24,068 in private monies, which should allow candidates to continue campaigning strenuously through September 15.

Of the seven candidates, Simon has spent the most during the campaign, reporting $92,982, followed by Thies with $83,039, Levin with $74,436, and Diamondstone with $64,725.So far,Baer has spent $57,569, Abraham has spent $50,506, and Biviano has spent only $32,580, though he is the most recent entrant in the race.

Despite the comparatively low amount of matching funds Biviano has received, he is planning to send four to five mailings.

“The reason I spend less is because I do more with less,” said Biviano.“My office isn’t more than anybody else’s office.Look at my website, I have the most engaged website among all these candidates.Mine cost me $42 a month hosting because I manage databases.”

In the 39th District, Democratic candidates John Heyer, Brad Lander, Josh Skaller, and Bob Zuckerman each received $84,122 in public matching funds, while Democrat Gary Reilly brought in $40,128. Republican candidates George Smith and Joseph Nardiello and Green Party candidate Joseph Pechefsky did not record public matching funds.

Heyer, Skaller, Lander and Zuckerman have spent over $90,000 in the competitive council race ($99,811 by Heyer, $95,574 by Skaller, $93,068 by Lander and $91,171 by Zuckerman) while Reilly has spent half as much, $45,995, as the others.Candidates Smith, Nardiello and Pechefsky have spent considerably less, with Smith reporting $961, Pechefsky reporting $12,075, and Nardiello not recording any campaign spending as of August 14.

In the 34th District City Council race, two candidates, incumbent Councilmember Diana Reyna and Bushwick Democratic District leader Maritza Davila have collected $84,122 in public matching funds, while a third candidate, Community Board 1 District Manager Gerry Esposito brought in $73,028.Esposito has spent the most in the race, reporting $84,138, followed by Davila, who has spent $65,519, and then Reyna, who has spent $50,421.Each of the candidates has raised over $80,000, with Esposito recording $87,149, Reyna reporting $84,122 and Davila collecting $84,080 in this highly competitive race.

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