Sign of the times: Developers pile cash on Democrats ahead of general election

As Democrats look to take majority in New York Senate, real estate gets practical by giving them more than $270K in just 10 days

TRD New York /
Nov.November 05, 2018 12:33 PM

From left: Bill Rudin, Douglas Durst, Gary Barnett and Senator Michael Gianaris (Credit: Getty Images and Extell)

New York real estate developers gave the Democratic State Campaign Committee more than $270,000 in campaign contributions during just 10 days last month, hedging their bets as Democrats seek to take back control of the state Senate after Tuesday’s general election.

City real estate concerns, which typically favor Republicans, accounted for more than 40 percent of $674,000 sent to the DSCC during the time period, Politico reported. For some developers, the choice to give to the Democratic Party directly is an outlier in their contribution histories.

Rudin Management, which gave $15,000 to the DSCC, only gave to Republicans two years ago, and the Durst Organization, which had not given to the DSCC since 2011, also gave $15,000.

Other donors included Gary Barnett, SL Green and CBRE’s Mary Ann Tighe.

Meanwhile, the Real Estate Board of New York has not given up on the Republican majority. In October, its independent expenditure group, Jobs for New York, dropped $426,000 on just one candidate: Long Island Republican senator Elaine Phillips, who faces a challenge from Democrat Anna Kaplan. The group’s total spending is just a fraction of what it was during the 2016 elections, however, Politico notes.

“New York faces a series of challenges in areas such as housing, jobs, sustainability and transportation that are critically important to its future and to the real estate industry,” REBNY’s president John Bank told Politico. “As a result, we will continue to work with a diverse group of elected officials regardless of their political party to seek solutions, based upon sound data and analysis, to those challenges.” [Politico NY] —Will Parker


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