Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio resigned Tuesday from his U.S. Congressional Campaign. This leaves questions about what happens to hundreds of thousands of dollars his campaign has raised since May.
Before de Blasio dropped out of the Democratic primary for New York’s 10th Congressional District, he had $450,000 in his congressional campaign and almost $245,000 in his gubernatorial exploratory committee, The City reported.
Election and campaign finance lawyer Aaron Foldenauer, who recently lost a long-shot bid for mayor, told the outlet that de Blasio could use the almost $700,000 in campaign money to settle debts from previous allegations he misused funds. (RELATED: REPORT: Aide To NYC Mayor Eric Adams Jumped At Gunpoint)
“De Blasio spent less than 15% of the more-than $500,000 that he raised for his Congressional run, which itself strongly suggests that De Blasio has been using his purported Congressional run to build a war chest to use as a slush fund to pay off outstanding liabilities,” Foldenauer told The City.
The former mayor still owes New York taxpayers around $320,000 for using the New York Police Department as a protective detail during his short-lived New York gubernatorial campaign, The City reported. He also owes close to $425,000 to lawyers who represented him during the government investigation into an alleged pay-to-play scheme involving political appointments and campaign contributions, according to the outlet.
Additionally, two committees created to aid de Blasio’s 2020 presidential campaign, de Blasio 2020 and the Fairness PAC, don’t have enough cash on hand to pay the over $100,000 in combined debt, Federal Election Commission filings show. It turns out De Blasio’s brief-lived bid for Congress was the ideal tool for him in convincing donors to lend him money that he could use to repay his debts,” Foldenauer explained to The City.
De Blasio announced he was leaving the race in a Twitter video Tuesday, saying, “It’s clear the people of [New York’s 10th district] are looking for another option and I respect that. ” The former mayor said he will bow out of “electoral politics and focus on other ways to serve.”
It’s clear the people of #NY10 are looking for another option and I respect that. It’s time to get out of electoral politics, and to focus on serving others. Thank you to all of the wonderful people and stories that I shared with you, I’m truly grateful. Thank you all! pic.twitter.com/gpt6V6WLUf
— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) July 19, 2022
Recent polling sponsored by the progressive Working Families Party showed that before dropping out, de Blasio was in seventh place in the crowded Democratic primary, only garnering 3% of the vote. The poll surveyed 636 likely Democratic party primary voters from July 1-11 with a margin of error of +/- 3.87%.