The Real Deal New York

Real estate money fueling Assembly housing chair’s campaign

REBNY, Spitzer, Barnett donate thousands to Keith Wright's congressional run

October 19, 2015 08:38AM

Keith Wright

Keith Wright

If money is speech, real estate players are speaking loudly in support of Assembly housing committee chair Keith Wright’s congressional bid.

Wright, a Democrat, has received just over $100,000 — about 43 percent of the total — for his 2016 election campaign from donors working in real estate or construction, their family members, and lobbyists or trade group representatives working in the field.

The Assembly member, who was first elected in 1992, has taken in $16,300 from members of the Real Estate Board of New York, including $500 from its president, John Banks, and $1,000 from Extell Development’s Gary Barnett.

An LLC connected to Spitzer Equities’ Eliot Spitzer gave Wright $2,700. Charles O’Byrne, a Related Companies executive and former top aide to David Patterson, gave the housing committee chair $2,600, Politico reported.

Bronx developer Avery Seavey, a longtime friend of Wright’s, gave the politician a total of $21,600, including donations from members of Seavey’s family.

“They may be calculating that Keith will still be the chair of the housing committee,” Michael KcKee, of Tenants PAC, told Politico. “If he doesn’t win his congressional primary in June, he could still run for his Assembly seat in September. I don’t think it’s just that they’re saying thank you; I think they’ve hedging their bets for the future.” [Politico]Ariel Stulberg