Tracking the Mayoral Candidates’ Wealthiest Donors

June 23, 2021

Photo by Alex Azabache from Pexels

Super PAC spending in this year’s mayoral race represents a truly massive pool of money – about 30% of the total amount spent on the race. Seven out of eight Democratic candidates have benefited from donations primarily coming from billionaires, totaling over $16 million. This cements the role of big money in city politics in the face of safeguards instituted by the city’s campaign finance system. 

This onslaught of funding has been put to tangible use as candidates have embarked on a multitude of media marketing campaigns on virtually every technological platform, from TV to the internet. 

Here is a look at some of the numbers for candidates who have enjoyed billionaire funding for their super PAC(s):

  • For Andrew Yang

·         Steven A Cohen donated a one-time sum of $500,000 

·         Daniel S Loeb donated a one-time sum of $500,000

·         Kenneth Griffin donated a one-time sum of $750,000

·         Jeffrey Yass donated a one-time sum of $500,000

·         Total super PAC funding: over $4 million

  • For Eric Adams

·         Steven A Cohen donated $500,000 followed by a second installment of $1 million 

·         Daniel S Loeb donated two installments of $500,000 

·         Stanley Druckenmiller donated a one-time sum of $500,000

·         Paul Tudor Jones donated a one-time sum of $600,000

·         Kenneth Griffin donated a one-time sum of $750,000

·         Total super PAC funding: about $7 million

  • For Scott M Stringer 

·         NY4Kids raised $4.2 million specifically for his campaign 

  • For Raymond J McGuire 

·         Kenneth Langone, Laurie Tisch, Leonard Lauder, and William Ackman have donated

·         Total super PAC funding: about $7 million

  • For Kathryn Garcia

·         Total super PAC funding: over $300,000 

  • For Maya Wiley

·         George Soros has committed about $1 million to two of her super PACS 

  • Not specific: The Dolan family has given almost $6 million to the Coalition to Restore New York; the super PAC has reported that it is candidate-agnostic, but shares the same issue-areas as those of Andrew Yang, Eric Adams, and Kathryn Garcia. 

Important note: half of the total billionaire spending in this race has benefitted only three of the candidates: Eric Adams, Andrew Yang, and Raymond J McGuire. 

Of course this wave of billionaire backing has not come without some controversy, especially with regards to New York City’s campaign finance system. The city uses this system to match small donations with city funds; through this, it has donated over $39 million to the candidates. But big money donations have complicated the situation. Courts dismissed a previous Supreme Court decision that had set a cap on the size of contributions to super PACs, which explains why the sums are so high this election; however this year’s race highlights a negative outcome of not having this cap: potential coordination between individual candidates and their super PAC funds; many are becoming worried as links between candidates and their donors are becoming more evident. 

This information is the most up to date news available as of the date posted. Please be advised that any information posted on the KI Legal Blog or Social Channels is being supplied for informational purposes only and is subject to change at any time. For more information, and clarity surrounding your individual organization or current situation, contact a member of the KI Legal team, or fill out a new client intake form.