Donovan Richards has made no bones about welcoming real estate donations in his bid for Queens borough president, and his requests have drawn in thousands of dollars from real estate figures in the past few weeks.
Disclosures filed with the New York City Campaign Finance Board show that Richards received donations between February 12 and 14 from senior executives at the Related Companies, including founder Stephen Ross ($160) and CEO Jeff Blau ($150). The developer is currently working on the Willets Point redevelopment in Corona.
Richards also took donations from the family behind Muss Development, and developer Pi Capital, based in Flushing. The Queens Daily Eagle first reported the contributions.
Richards has been vocal about his ties to developers and has actively courted real estate money while other politicians reject it.
“If [Miranda] won’t take real estate checks, I surely will, so if you’re in this room and want to cut a check,” Richards commented at a recent public forum, referring to candidate Anthony Miranda, who has sworn off real estate money.
Many of the donors contributing to Richards’ campaign are involved in active projects in Queens. If he is elected as borough president, Richards will be charged with making advisory recommendation proposals for land use, including development projects.
In January, The Real Deal reported that Richards would have to return as much as $21,000 to real estate donors after going over the $750 limit for individual donations.
He had amassed some $38,000 from real estate groups, including the the Real Estate Board of New York.
None of the February donations from real estate figures exceeded $750. [Queens Daily Eagle] — Sylvia Varnham O’Regan