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1989-24: General Election Expenditures Made Before Primary Election

June 08, 1989

An advisory opinion has been requested on the following question:

If a candidate in a contested primary for the Democratic nomination for an office who has elected to participate under the NYC Campaign Finance Act, receives the nomination of another party (Conservative, Republican, or Liberal) before the Democratic primary, where the candidate is unopposed for the other party's nomination, and is, therefore, assured of appearing on the general election ballot even if he/she loses the Democratic primary, may the candidate make expenditures in connection with his/her general election campaign for the other party where such expenditures are made before the Democratic primary?

New York City Administrative Code §3-705(3) provides that "a candidate seeking or obtaining nomination for election by more than one party shall be deemed one candidate, and shall not... make additional expenditures by reason of such candidate seeking or obtaining" more than one nomination. Expenditures by a candidate in a contested primary election, made before the date of the primary, are deemed to have been made for the primary election. Administrative Code §3-706(1) (c). Therefore, any expenditures made before the primary by a candidate in a contested primary election (whether or not the candidate receives nominations from other parties), are deemed to be for the primary election and are subject to the expenditure limit applicable to that primary election under Section 3-706(1). In such a case, the candidate may not allocate expenditures made before the primary election to a general election expenditure limit.