Who contributed to Syracuse mayoral candidate's campaigns?

Left to right: Juanita Perez-Williams, Ben Walsh, Laura Lavine, Howie Hawkins

The four candidates running for mayor of Syracuse have raised more than a combined $821,000 for their campaigns.

Due to the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, candidates are required to report financial contributions they receive.

Since announcing their campaigns:

  • Independent Ben Walsh has raised $440,036.26
  • Democrat Juanita Perez-Williams raised $256,256.88
  • Republican Laura Lavine raised $115,136.00
  • Green party candidate Howie Hawkins raised $9,967.75

The money comes from businesses, interest groups, individuals and the candidates themselves.

"The voters should know who the big donors are and that's part of disclosure. It's one part of a comprehensive system of the best practices when it comes to campaign finance regulations," Blair Horner, Executive Director of the new York Public Interest Research Group, said.

The largest single corporate donation for Walsh is a $10,000 contribution from Syracuse's oldest law firm, McKenzie and Hughes LLC.

The largest single corporate donation for Perez-Williams is a $6,000 donation from the Hancock Estabrook law firm.

Lavine received a $3,000 boost from the Onondaga County Republican Committee.

Hawkins received $1,000 from Solidarity, a Michigan-based organization.

Horner added that elected officials are asked to meet a number of different demands with finite resources, and sometimes financial allies can become a higher priority.

"The big donor gets to be heard with a megaphone while other donors and the public are reduced to a whisper. If two phones ring at the same time in an elected official's office and one is from a ten thousand dollar donor and the other is from a constituent, which phone do you think they're going to pick up first?" Horner asked.

If you'd like to take a closer look at who donated to each campaign, you can visit New York State Board of Elections website.

Voters in Syracuse will choose the next mayor next Tuesday.

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