Diaz Jr. fundraising falters among 2021 NYC mayoral field

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
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Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Diaz Jr. fundraising falters among 2021 NYC mayoral field

The latest fundraising numbers are in for New York City candidates.
January 16, 2020

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.’s campaign fundraising seems to have slowed to a trickle.

The 2021 New York City mayoral candidate brought in just $95,000 in the last six months – way down from his previous fundraising filing period average of $354,000. Diaz now has an estimated $906,000 in his campaign account. 

Diaz’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The small haul is even more surprising since Diaz is the only one of the four leading mayoral candidates who can accept contributions as high as $5,100. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer have elected to join the updated public matching fund system which limits their donations to $2,000. And New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson has a self-imposed $250 individual donation limit.

The latest campaign finance disclosures were due on Wednesday Jan. 15, and although the Democratic mayoral primary isn’t scheduled until June 2021, City Hall watchers are keeping a close eye on fundraising numbers as the field continues to take shape. Candidate cash will get a huge boost, to varying degrees, once the New York City Campaign Finance Board releases public matching funds, but the first payments aren’t planned until December 2020.

Adams led the pack in the last six months, bringing in $437,000 to bring his cash on hand to about $2 million. But Adams actually had a negative fundraising period, since he had to refund a whopping $664,000. Adams was previously raising under the city’s 6-to-1 matching system, which allows contributions up to $5,100. Adams recently opted into the Board’s updated 8-to-1 matching system, which limits contributions to $2,000, requiring him to refund any amount given over that new limit. 

Stringer also had a net negative period, due to joining the updated matching system. He brought in $302,000 in new donations, but had to refund $446,000. Stringer has an estimated $2.37 million in his account, which leads the field. 

Johnson brought in $329,000 this period and has an estimated $692,000 on hand. That’s the least of the four major candidates, but his campaign was careful to point out that Johnson didn’t start fundraising till 2019, a year after his main rivals. 

Loree Sutton, the city’s former veterans’ affairs commissioner, joined the race in November and raised $113,608. She has about $53,000 in her account. And Dianne Morales, a nonprofit CEO who joined the race last summer, raised $63,000 and has about $36,000 on hand.

Others are still rumored to be weighing campaigns, like Citigroup Vice Chairman Ray McGuire, real estate developer John Catsimatidis and former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan.

Jeff Coltin
is a senior reporter at City & State. He covers New York City Hall.
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