NYC Campaign Finance Board Issues Public Matching Funds in the Queens Borough President Special Election


Today, the NYC Campaign Finance Board (CFB) issued public matching funds payments totaling $974,492 to two candidates running for Queens Borough President in a special election set to occur on Tuesday, March 24. Early voting for this election begins on Saturday, March 14, and continues through Sunday, March 22.

To qualify for public matching funds, candidates must meet this two-part fundraising threshold: 100 contributions from Queens residents and $44,614 in funds raised. Only the match-eligible portion of any contribution may count towards the second threshold. The payment takes into account all campaign finance activity through January 11, 2020. This is the first public funds payment for this special election. See the table below for a summary of the payments.

Candidate Office Payment
Costa Constantinides Queens Borough President $476,697
Elizabeth Crowley Queens Borough President $497,795
Total Queens Borough President $974,492
Improvements to the matching funds program were adopted by voters in November 2018 and a law passed by the City Council in June 2019 applied those changes to all elections starting in 2019. Under the new limits and thresholds, the CFB provides public matching funds to qualifying candidates at a matching rate of $8-to-$1 for the first $175 for City Council and Borough President candidates, or $250 for citywide candidates contributed by city residents. Each contribution from a New York City resident is eligible for a maximum matching funds payment of $1,400 for City Council and Borough President candidates or $2,000 for citywide candidates.

Candidates have the choice of participating in the old program, which provides public funds to qualifying candidates at a $6-to-$1 matching rate. All participating candidates in the Queens Borough President special election opted-in to the new $8-to-$1 program.

Candidates must comply with all program rules, including individual contribution limits and a prohibition on contributions from corporations, limited liability companies, and partnerships, to be eligible for public funds.

To qualify for public matching funds, candidates must meet the nonpartisan objective criteria set in the law. Only the match-eligible portion of any contribution may count towards the threshold. In City Council elections, candidates must receive a minimum of 75 contributions from district residents, and at least $5,000 in match-eligible contributions from city residents. For Borough President, candidates must receive 100 contributions from borough residents, and between $10,000 and $50,094 (depending on the borough) in match-eligible contributions from city residents. For Public Advocate and Comptroller, candidates must receive 500 contributions from city residents, and $125,000 in match-eligible contributions. And for Mayor, candidates must receive 1,000 contributions from city residents and $250,000 in match-eligible contributions.

The CFB's Candidate Services staff offers extensive support to campaigns, providing access to training, resources, and one-on-one guidance to help them navigate their disclosure requirements and compliance obligations.

More information about the candidates' campaign finance data is available on the CFB website in the Campaign Finance Summary portal. Individual contribution data is available in the Follow the Money database.