Squadron memo predicts $1 million advantage in public advocate race

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State Senator Daniel Squadron's consultants predict he could have a million dollars more than his competitors in the public advocate's race to help him reach voters heading into the September primary, according to a campaign memo they are circulating to supporters.

Their explanation is that Squadron, a former Chuck Schumer aide who seems to have his old boss' knack for fund-raising, has kept his spending down, and focused on raising contributions that can be matched under the city's campaign finance program.

"As of the May 11 filing, the Squadron campaign has approximately $647,000 more to spend than the Saujani campaign, and $1.1 million more than the James campaign," according to the memo, written by Alex Navarro-McKay, a consultant with the BerlinRosen firm. (Cathy Guerriero, a candidate who is unmissable at live events, isn't mentioned at all here.)

If current fund-raising and spending trends continue, Navarro-McKay predicts Squadron will have "more than $1 million" to spend over Saujani, and $1.5 million over James. "This translates into more voter contact — on the doors, on TV and in the mail."

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In campaigns, money is used to reach voters for two reasons: to raise yet more money from them, and of course to persuade them to vote for you (or against your opponent). The Squadron campaign is signaling they'll use the money for persuasion.

In the memo, Navarro notes that "the Squadron campaign has kept its spending under $50,000 per month," while "the Saujani campaign spent $318,294 in the most recent 2-month filing, and spent more than twice what it raised."

The largest two expenditures in her most recent filing were $52,603 for a media consultant, and $38,772 on a "voter file" from the state Democratic Party. 

A Saujani campaign aide said 40 percent of their spending in the most recent filing period was for "one-time expenses."

UPDATE: Here are a few charts that help tell the financial story in the public advocate's race.

This chart shows the private contributions given to each of the four Democratic candidates. Saujani and Squadron are in a league of their own.

This chat shows how much they raised in direct contributions, plus, what they expect to get in matching funds (which is $6 from the city for the first $175 raised from eligible donors in the city). Based on this calculation, Squadron's fund-raising gap in the 6th filing period diminishes, and his lead at the end of the 8th filing period grows.

This chart shows how much the campaigns have spent in each filing period. Squadron was able to reduce his spending heading into the 7th filing period, while Saujani's campaign switched gears, and at the end of this filing period became the first campaign to start seriously spending.