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Do the 35th District fundraising totals indicate a tight race? Not yet.

So, is the 35th District Council Democratic primary race getting tight, as Ede Fox prepares to challenge incumbent Laurie Cumbo? I'd say it's early.

Fox Out Fundraises Cumbo In March 15 Filing Period, according to Stephen Witt of Kings County Politics:
According to the Campaign Finance Board (CFB), Cumbo reported having raised $66,457 while spending $26,732 to net out with $39,725. Fox raised $29,456 and spent $260 to net out with $29,716.
While this looks like Cumbo has an edge, it should be noted that she has been fundraising for some time and her total is a culmination of several filing periods, while this is Fox’s first filing.
If you just look at this filing period, which ran from Jan. 17 to yesterday, Fox outraised Cumbo by more than 2 to 1. Fox raised $29,976, while Cumbo raised only $13,720.
This is not to write off Cumbo, however, as City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has an upcoming fundraiser for Cumbo....
"This is not to write off Cumbo"? C'mon, any incumbent (who hasn't been indicted) automatically has a major edge, given connections in the community, the ability to steer funding, and name recognition.

So, even without massive support from the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) as Cumbo got in 2013--which Witt thinks is likely, though I'd say it's up in the air--Cumbo has the track record of four years in office, ties to community and arts groups, and past/future fundraising help from other elected officials.

Fox hasn't yet spent money on a web site (here's her 2013 site) or staff, just some small fund-raising and won't formally decide on a campaign until May. Cumbo has been spending on campaign consultants and fund-raising. (Her campaign web site has barely been updated, but she sure has a Council web site.)

A third candidate, Jabari Brisport, is running on the Green Party line, which both offers an alternative and also does not detract from a head-to-head Democratic race. Keep watch to see if a third Democrat enters the race, which surely would benefit the incumbent. The big issue so far, as described by DNAinfo, is Cumbo's support for the Bedford-Union Armory deal,

The fundraising race

Consider that candidates may qualify to receive public matching funds at a $6-to-$1 rate for contributions up to $175 from individuals who reside in New York City. As of the filing period last week, Fox had 138 contributions from New York City residents, out of 157 total. Cumbo had 359, out of 390 total.

Cumbo has maximum $2,750 contributions from the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, that Council's associated Local 6, Council Member Corey Johnson, Sean Meenan of Habana Outpost,  and Allan Fishman, Chairman of the real-estate finance firm Ladder Capital (and associated with BAM, the Brooklyn Community Foundaiton, and Downtown Brooklyn Partnership).

Among Cumbo's contributors, 19 put "real estate" in their occupation, including Jed Walentas of Two Trees, David Kramer of the Hudson Companies, and Ofer Cohen of Terra CRG, though others--like David Walentas of Two Trees--described their companies without that phrase.

Fox's maximum $2,750 contributions came from Ironworkers Local 46 PAC, and her mother Judith Pierce.

By the way, Fox has a decent fraction from 11238, which is Prospect Heights and Fort Greene: 44 contributions, not counting those from herself. Part of that may simply be her neighborhood base, as she lives in Prospect Heights and co-founded Prospect Heights Democrats for Reform. Several are from people with some role challenging Atlantic Yards/Atlantic Yards Pacific Park.

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