New York City

Don’t trust the fundraising numbers in the Brooklyn special election

Jelanie DeShong’s campaign mistakenly posted an over-the-limit contribution that bloated his total.

WFP candidate for Brooklyn's 43rd Assembly District Jelanie DeShong.

WFP candidate for Brooklyn's 43rd Assembly District Jelanie DeShong. Marcos Lainez

Anyone trying to handicap Tuesday’s special election in Central Brooklyn’s 43rd Assembly District based on fundraising might have been misled last week. Jelanie DeShong, who is on the Working Families Party line, posted a huge $31,000 haul in his 11-day preelection financial filing, well ahead of Democratic Party nominee Brian Cunningham’s $14,705. But much of DeShong’s filing was a mistake due to the campaign wrongly reporting an $11,225 way-over-the-limit donation from commercial waste industry lobbyist Kendall Christiansen. “That’s incredible,” Christiansen said with a laugh when told about it by City & State. He actually gave DeShong $100 – the same amount he gave Cunningham. “We’re lucky to have two great candidates in the race, instead of what’s usually the case,” he said. DeShong’s campaign said it was a reporting error, and the filing was amended by Friday. The special election has shaped up as a proxy war among Central Brooklyn power players, but most insiders expect Cunningham to win mainly because he has the Democratic line. But even with the corrected numbers, DeShong has a slight fundraising advantage, bringing in $31,947 to Cunningham’s $27,311.