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Fields, Miller Already 'Running-Off' To Next Election – QNS.com

Fields, Miller Already ‘Running-Off’ To Next Election

An interesting sidenote took place last week in the race for City Hall.
Two mayoral candidates, Speaker Gifford Miller and Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, submitted Advisory Opinion requests to the Campaign Finance Board.
The AO-asks involved a ruling on what is dubbed a “reasonably anticipated” runoff election. The CFB levied such a ruling in 2001, when a crowded field for the Democratic nod seemed to preclude any candidate from receiving the 40 percent of the Primary vote needed to avoid a two-person runoff.
Fields and Miller’s camps both argued that the city was headed for a similar fate this time, as Congressman Anthony Weiner and Fernando Ferrer join them in the fray for the nod.
As a result, the candidates want to start raising money in a separate account for the potential runoff campaigns, should they make the cut. Without the ruling, no funds can be raised for anything other than the Primary.
“Under the circumstances, we believe it is necessary to start raising money now for such an eventuality,” the Fields’ letter stated.
Fields’ campaign manager, Chung Seto, said that they believed the CFB would see the reason in their argument.
“We have consistently been in the polls as holding a solid second spot and we have continued to show that we’re rising steadily,” Seto said. “The pundits and others have said there will be a runoff and we believe that it’s a two-tier race between Mr. Ferrer and Ms. Fields. We want to begin to raise resources for that race.”
When asked why they put forth this request now and why Ferrer’s campaign hadn’t yet, Seto guessed, “I’m sure he thinks he’s leading comfortably.”
One insider familiar with campaign finance law speculated that for Ferrer’s campaign to put in a request (something he did not do in 2001 either) would be a concession of weakness on their part: “It would indicate that they don’t believe they can win the nomination without a runoff, which I’m sure they don’t want to do.”
Miller’s camp concurred with Seto: “We firmly believe that there will be a runoff,” said Miller spokesperson Reggie Johnson, “and we will be in it. Thus, we want to be prepared.”
And what of the two candidates who raise money for a runoff but don’t make it? They can roll the contributions collected toward a future campaign committee.
The CFB board next meets on July 7 and the AO request is an agenda item to be voted on at that gathering.
There’s almost no doubt it will pass. It remains to be seen which two candidates it will actually benefit.
politics@queenscourier.com

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