Massey Beats Out Mayor With $1.6M in Campaign Funds Raised in 6 Months, Spends Even Bigger


The mayoral campaign of Cushman & Wakefield’s Paul Massey brought in $1.6 million over the last six months, more than the $1 million incumbent Mayor Bill de Blasio raised during that same period, according to disclosures released by the Campaign Finance Board today.

But the Republican real estate executive’s bid for City Hall also spent $1.8 million on expenses during that time, exceeding his intake by $200,000, according to the disclosures. Massey has also poured almost $1.3 million of his own money into the mayoral bid, a campaign which is estimated to have $937,000 in its coffers.

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“Paul Massey has always spent money on infrastructure,” campaign spokesman Bill O’Reilly told Commercial Observer via text message. “It was critical in Massey Knakal [Realty Services’] success, and it will be critical for the success of this campaign. He will never apologize for paying for the right team to accomplish the mission in front of him. It’s full speed ahead.”

The list of 910 donations includes a who’s who of real estate, particularly from the brokerage community. C&W, where Massey has worked since 2015 (when the brokerage acquired Massey Knakal), was unsurprisingly heavily represented on the list, according to CO’s analysis of the disclosure report. Roughly 120 of the donors listed the brokerage as their place of employment—many of whom work in the investment sales division in which Massey is an executive. A C&W spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment.

Donors came from other brokerages as well, including Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, ABS Partners Real Estate and CBRE. Aby Rosen and Michael Fuchs, the co-founders of RFR Realty, were among the developers who donated to the campaign since it launched last summer—giving a combined $9,900, the filings indicate.

A bulk of the campaign’s expenses has gone to staff salaries, according to the disclosure report. David Amsterdam, the campaign’s chief executive officer and a former leasing executive at SL Green Realty Corp., has been paid nearly $248,000 since September. Another $32,200 has gone to rent for its headquarters at 156 Fifth Avenue at West 20th Street since the late summer.

Overall, roughly half the money Massey’s campaign has brought in came from residents of the five boroughs, according to the filings. New York City residents donated $810,510, while those outside of the Big Apple pitched in the remaining $817,017. 

During a speech at a Real Estate Board of New York-hosted luncheon in December 2016, Massey said the campaign would surprise the city with how much money it had taken in, and would have self-financed the bid in the fashion of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He is not taking part in the city’s matching funds program.

The de Blasio campaign has brought in $3.3 million since launching, according to the filings. His $1.1 million raise over the last six months came from 3,261 donors, records indicate, with $733,731 of the money coming from New York City residents. A significant amount of de Blasio’s donations were small sums of lower than $100 a piece (one of those who gave the maximum $4,950 was from Cynthia Nixon, an actress and longtime supporter of the mayor). The campaign spent $592,606 during that time. 

None of the other eight candidates who have filed paperwork with the city have come close to that. Former New York Police Department Detective and media personality Richard “Bo” Dietl comes the next closes with $282,656 during that period.

When asked about the strong show from Massey, who has never held elected office, the de Blasio campaign responded with a list of the Democrat’s accomplishments since taking office in 2014.

“We are thrilled with the support the mayor has received from grassroots supporters in all five boroughs,” Elana Leopold, the finance director for de Blasio 2017, said in a statement. “Mayor de Blasio expanded pre-K for every 4 year old and raised wages for tens of thousands of workers. Crime is at record lows, jobs are at a record high and New York City is building affordable housing at a record pace. But New Yorkers know we have to keep this progress going, and that is why there is so much energy behind our campaign.”