Nine Candidates Register For City Matching Funds Program

On Monday, George Alvarez, Carlton A. Curry, Helen Foreman-Hines, Marlon Molina, Joann Otero, Julio Pabon, J. Loren Russell, Rafael Salamanca Jr., and Amanda Septimo joined the NYC Campaign Board (CFB) matching funds program for the special election in Bronx Council District 17. That’s just the first step on the road to the February 23rd special election.

Two other potential contenders, Anthony Sanchez and John Perez, did not submit Candidate Certifications to the CFB. A CFB spokesperson acknowledged that although Mr. Sanchez is registered for 2017, he declined to participate in the upcoming special election. Mr. Perez claimed via text message that although he “met the threshold,” he didn’t see his name on the CFB list of candidates. Stay tuned.

The first financial disclosure reports are due this Friday, January 15. In addition, the nine will have to meet to minimum thresholds to qualify for the 6:1 matching contributions for individual donations up to $175 [$87]. Candidates must raise at least $10 from 75 district residents. And candidates must raise a minimum of $5000. The CFB webpage says that a candidate may receive a maximum of $1050 [$522] in public funds per contributor.

CORRECTION: Because of the shortened time frame of a special election, the matching funds formula is cut in half from a regular election. For a special, the Program matches each dollar a NYC resident gives, up to $87, with six dollars in public funds, for a maximum of $522 in public funds per contributor. Same goes for the contribution limit, which is $1,375.

The last day to file nominating petitions is January 19 to get on the nonpartisan ballot. Rafael Salamanca, Jr. was the first to submit nominating petitions and a certificate of acceptance. 2013 insurgent Democrat Julio Pabon also filed a set of nominating petitions. Under the rules of the NYC Board of Elections, Salamanca and Pabon will occupy the first and second ballot columns, respectively, for this nonpartisan special election. Mr. Salamanca will run under the party banner, Community First. Mr. Pabon will represent the Bronx Not For Sale party.

Over the next several days, the other candidates will file their nominating petitions and fundraising disclosure reports. All of the procedural and ministerial thresholds will help separate organized campaigns from shoestring, vanity operations.

All but one of the nine CFB-registered candidates reside in Council District 17. Amanda Septimo lives in Council District 16. A check of city Board of Elections records shows that all are enrolled Democrats.

Earlier this month, Mayor de Blasio called the Special Election to fill the vacancy caused by the 12/31/2015 resignation of former Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo. The special election will be on Tuesday, February 23, 2016. Polls open at 6 AM and close at 9 PM.

UPDATE: In an email, Ms. Septimo wrote, “I live on Manida Street in Hunts Point, and have since last year [2015].” She wrote that her NYC Campaign Finance Board filing and her driver’s license have her correct address. Septimo promised to change her voter registration in “enough time to vote in the election.” She thanked The Bronx Chronicle for the nudge.

This post has been updated to reflect that for the special election public match limits are reduced. January 13, 2016 at 4:17 pm. 

This post has been updated to reflect Amanda Septimo’s response to the article citing that BOE records show her living in the 16th Council District. January 14, 2016 at 5:27 am.