The New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB) approved more than half a million in public matching funds on Thursday for the two upcoming city council special elections in Queens.
The money will be dispersed to eleven different candidates across the two February races in City Council District 24 and City Council District 31.
The majority of the funds are going to the special election to fill Queens Borough President Donovan Richard former seat on the council. Four of the candidates in the District 31 race will receive a combined $473,089 in matching funds from the city. This is the first round of public matching funds in the election which is set to take place on February 23.
Meanwhile, $75,000 will be distributed to four of the candidates in the special election to replace former City Councilmember Rory Lancman. This is the third and final round of public funds disbursements for this race. The election takes place on February 2 and early voting has already begun. In all, the CFB has doled out nearly 1 million in public matching funds for this election.
The public matching fund program is optional and designed to encourage candidates to seek small donations from New York City residents while campaign fundraising rather than large donations from special interest groups.
To qualify, candidates must meet two fundraising thresholds by raising a minimum amount of money from a minimum number of contributors. The thresholds vary by office. Once in the program, candidates will receive $8 in taxpayer money for every eligible dollar they raise.
In the third payout for the District 24 race, City Council Candidate Mujib Rahman received the largest sum at $20,816 followed by City Council Candidate Moumita Ahmed who received $20,560.
Over in District 31, the distributed sums were considerably larger in the first round of public matching funds.
City Council Candidate Selvena Brooks-Powers received the highest amount of public matching funds, $135,375, while City Council Candidate Manuel Silva was a close second with $134,821.
The breakdown of the latest round of public matching funds for the February special elections in City Council Districts 24 and 31 are as follows:
Moumita Ahmed – $20,560
James Gennaro – $7,149
Dilip Nath – $7,125
Neeta Jain – $7,000
Mujib Rahman – $20,816
Deepti Sharma – $5,225
Soma Syed – $7,125
Total – $75,000
Latoya Benjamin – $74,754
Selvena Brooks-Powers – $135,375
Pesach Osina – $128,128
Manuel Silva – $134,821
Total – $473,089