FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 19th, 2016
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Elizabeth Reddy, Communications Director
Newell Clear Front-Runner in AD-65; Taps into "mandate for change"
Earns most endorsements, gathers most signatures, has most money
Lifelong Lower Manhattanite Paul Newell has emerged as front-runner in the six-way race to succeed ousted speaker Sheldon Silver as Lower Manhattan's Assemblyperson, with eight weeks remaining until the September 13th Democratic primary. By filing the most petition signatures with an all-volunteer operation and reporting the most money raised, in the same week as rolling out endorsements from Councilmembers Rosie Mendez, Mark Levine and Ben Kallos, the campaign is cementing a narrative of broad and deep support from across Lower Manhattan.
In a field that started with eight candidates and has narrowed to six, Newell, who in 2008 was endorsed by the New York Times, Daily News, and New York Post as a first-time candidate against then-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, has the most money and collected the most signatures. According to Newell's filing, he has raised $92,046.55 from over 300 contributors, and has over $95,000 cash on hand, the most of any candidate. He averaged a markedly lower contribution size by investing heavily in a grassroots fundraising operation.
Newell's average contribution was less than $270; in the field overall, his opponents took fewer checks from larger donors and averaged over $500 per contribution. Newell will thus both be able to expand and go back to this small-donor network throughout the next eight weeks, because his larger network will be able to contribute similar amounts without hitting contribution limits.
Unlike his self-funding opponents, who between them and their families contributed an average of $24,233.33 per campaign, Newell’s family contributed only $601 this period, demonstrating his ability to mobilize support without relying on family and patronage networks. The “incumbent,” Alice Cancel, filed a “no-activity report,” indicating that she has neither raised nor spent any funds at all on her campaign since becoming interim Assembly Member. Cancel’s previous report showed only $2,100 on-hand.
The campaign's good fundraising news was preceded earlier in the week by high-profile endorsements from activist representatives, including that of his own Council Member Rosie Mendez. Newell's campaign also filed over 5,500 petition signatures with the Board of Elections – the most by far of any candidate. The signatures were collected by over 100 volunteer witnesses. Other candidates in the 65th relied heavily on paid canvass operations but failed to surpass Newell's numbers.
Newell has been endorsed by in-district elected officials Council Member Rosie Mendez and former State Senator Fred Ohrenstein, as well as Mark Green, Ruth Messinger, Zephyr Teachout, Ben Kallos, Mark Levine, Labor leader Ed Ott, as well as the Downtown Independent Democrats, the Coalition for a District Alternative (CoDA), the Stonewall Democrats, CWA Locals 1101 & 1180, the New York Professional Nurses’ Union, OPEIU Local 153, Zephyr Teachout, Ruth Messinger, Mark Green, Ed Ott, and dozens of local and statewide progressive leaders.
In the coming weeks, the campaign has events planned across the district, ensuring constituents have many opportunities to meet Paul and learn more about his priorities as a reform candidate. The campaign continues to recruit volunteers and raise money district-wide, and will soon be rolling out endorsement videos from both politicos and community members illustrating why the cause of reform in Albany is so urgent.