Boro funds drive beep race

City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. and Melinda Katz have the biggest campaign war chests, but did not recently raise the most amount of cash in Queens. Photo by Steven Malecki
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Six candidates for borough president disclosed the contents of their war chests earlier this month, but those at the front of the pack did not necessarily raise the most money in the borough they seek to represent.

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), businessman Everly Brown, City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans), former Democratic state Assemblywoman Melinda Katz, Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) and Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) are all hoping to replace current Borough President Helen Marshall, who has served three terms.

The latest city Campaign Finance Board filings from May 15 were examined for money given by Queens residents, Manhattan residents, supporters from the other boroughs and outside New York City altogether.

Only the candidates who qualified for the city’s matching funds program, where the board will chip in $6 for every $1 donated by a city resident up to $175, were compared.

Some of the Manhattan contributions were from unions that also were active in Queens. Some donations from outside Queens were from people who work in the borough, although they would not be able to vote in September’s borough president primary.

Overall, Vallone is far ahead of the pack, with more than $1 million in his account, but most of that money is left over from his previous runs for Council. Since 2010, Vallone has racked up about $197,000, records show. Of that total, about $83,000, or 42 percent, was raised in the borough, which makes it the second highest percentage in the field and the third biggest amount. Vallone’s next biggest source of donations was from outside the five boroughs, where he raised $60,555, or 31 percent of his total, since 2010.

The board estimates the councilman has about $730,000 left in his account.

Katz has the second biggest war chest and raised the second largest amount from Queens, but compared to the rest of the field, she raised the least percentage of her money here. She collected $104,431 from the borough, which constituted 22 percent of her total. The former Forest Hills lawmaker’s biggest sources of funds were from Manhattan and outside New York City, which each made up about 36 percent of her account.

The board estimated she had about $337,000 left.

Peralta ranks third in total donations, but racked up the most money from Queens, according to records from the board.

In total, the senator raised more than $301,000, according to records filed with the board. About $122,000, or 40 percent, was raised in the borough. His next biggest chunk came from outside the five boroughs, with $106,000 raised from non-New York City residents.

The board estimates he has about $138,000 left.

Comrie pulled in $145,901 in total, according to the board, with about $57,483, or 39 percent, coming from Queens.

The councilman’s next biggest source of funds was from Manhattan, with $40,393, or 28 percent, flowing from across the river.

The board estimates after expenses that he only has about $40,000 left.

Avella raised the least amount of money overall, but got the greatest percentage of his cash from Queens.

The lawmaker raked in $57,221 in total, far less than four of his counterparts, but about 75 percent, or $43,000, came from borough residents, according to board records.

The board estimates his war chest contains about $53,422, which actually may have bumped him above Comrie.

Brown has raised less than $2,000 from 35 people, and has not qualified for matching funds, which requires at least 100 donations from borough residents totalling at least $44,614.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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Reader Feedback

Shafran from Bayside, NY says:
I think that Tony Avella will win the borough presidents race because he is the most honest and well liked politician out there. Melinda Katz and Peter Vallone want to turn our more suburban areas like Bayside into Astorias where middle class hardworking white people will be replaced by dumb midwesterners who dont want to get married and dont want to have kids.
May 30, 2013, 6:37 am

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