2017 Elections: Small-Dollar Contribution Leaders as of July 14

William Fowler July 14, 2017

By Monday, July 17, candidates for city office will file their latest campaign finance disclosures with the CFB. This is a significant filing, because it is the last one before the CFB issues public matching funds payments to candidates for the first time, on August 3. So before we start looking through the new disclosures, here’s a quick review of the last filing period (March 11 – May 12, 2017).

Candidates brought in $4.47 million overall, with $3.98 million (81 percent) in contributions from individuals. More than 18,000 individuals gave contributions; their average contribution size was $221. Our interactive contribution map is an excellent resource for visualizing the fundraising landscape for this election cycle.

During the two-month disclosure period ending in May, Bill de Blasio’s re-election campaign for mayor reported receiving contributions from 1,571 unique contributors who gave $175 or less – more than any other candidate. Following de Blasio is another mayoral candidate, Nicole Malliotakis, who received support from 456 small-dollar contributors in her first filing.

Top Ten Candidates Ranked by Small Contributions Raised from NYC Residents1 
(March 12, 2017 – May 11, 2017)

Candidate

Office

No. of small donors (gave $175 or less)

Amount raised from small donors

Pct. of total contributions from small donors

Bill de Blasio

Mayor

1,571

$54,358

1.3%

Nicole Malliotakis

Mayor

456

$26,229

34.1%

Nancy Tong

Council (#43)

214

$12,229

21.2%

Dashia Imperiale

Council (#1)

191

$7,375

62.3%

Mel Wymore

Council (#6)

185

$16,112

21.1%

Antonio Reynoso

Council (#34)

171

$9,011

12.0%

Justin Sanchez

Council (#14)

169

$5,379

17.6%

Randy Abreu

Council (#14)

156

$5,660

20.4%

Felix Perdomo

Council (#14)

151

$8,255

93.8%

Henry Butler

Council (#41)

135

$6,095

19.5%


Three challengers in The Bronx Council District 14 also top the small-dollar contributor list: Justin Sanchez, Randy Abreu, and Felix Perdomo. Nearly all (94 percent) of Perdomo’s contributions are from small donors. This suggests the makings of a competitive race that also features an incumbent.

Another City Council district that’s seen major small-dollar fundraising is Brooklyn’s District 43. In this past filing period, yet another candidate running in this district, Nancy Tong, has received big support from small-dollar contributors. With 214 small donors, Tong received more small-dollar contributions than any other City Council candidate measured from March 11 through May 12, 2017.

Of the $26.6 million contributed to all candidates throughout the entire election cycle, $23.6 million, or 89 percent, comes from individuals; only $2.9 million, or 11 percent, is from committees, unions or other interest groups. The $23.6 million contributed by individuals includes 27,215 contributions from city residents who gave small-dollar contributions of $175 or less. Check out our blog post on the potential impact of matching funds to see what these small-dollar contributions may ultimately amount to for participating candidates.

For City Council seats, the average donation is $184 from 34,552 individuals.

For the candidates who meet the required thresholds, these contributions may qualify for matching funds, which are administered at a $6-to-$1 rate. In this system, a small contribution of, say, $100 is worth $700 for participating candidates.

As in previous filing periods, Mayor de Blasio has the largest number of small-dollar donors, with 5,344 in total. Public Advocate Letitia James has moved down two spots as Council District 2 candidate Carlina Rivera and Comptroller Scott Stringer occupy the #2 and #3 spots, respectively. With only one filing, mayoral candidate Malliotakis reached the #5 spot.

NYC Small Contribution Leaders in the 2017 Election Cycle
(January 11, 2014 – May 11, 2017)

Candidate

Office

No. of small donors (gave $175 or less)

Amount raised from small donors

Pct. of total contributions from small donors

Bill de Blasio

Mayor

5,344

$255,621

6.0%

Carlina Rivera

Council (#2)

518

$30,182

28.1%

Scott Stringer

Comptroller

498

$46,945

2.3%

Letitia James

Public Advocate

489

$43,275

6.7%

Nicole Malliotakis

Mayor

456

$26,229

34.1%

Mary Silver

Council (#2)

425

$26,862

29.7%

Melinda Katz

BP (Queens)

409

$43,962

5.6%

Carlos Menchaca

Council (#38)

392

$26,185

38.1%

Elvin Garcia

Council (#18)

388

$20,592

38.2%

Sal Albanese

Mayor

374

$32,116

40.9% 


As always, we are grateful for the additional research for this post generously provided by Steve Romalewski of the Center for Urban Research at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Footnotes:

1 Small donors for the latest reporting period (March 12, 2017 through May 11, 2017) are individuals living in New York City who have contributed no more than $175 per candidate during the reporting period.  If any of these contributors provided earlier contributions to each candidate that caused the total amount of their contributions to that candidate to exceed $175, they were excluded from these tallies.

2Small donors for the overall 2017 election cycle are individuals living in New York City who have contributed no more than $175 per candidate during the overall election cycle.

3Analysis only applies to candidates who indicated that they are likely to participate in the matching funds program.