REBNY bets on winners rather than pro-business candidates

From left: Sara Gonzalez, Vanessa Gibson and Margaret Chin
From left: Sara Gonzalez, Vanessa Gibson and Margaret Chin

Real estate’s Jobs for New York political action committee has spent $7 million on City Council races, but several of the candidates getting the cash are less sympathetic to the industry.

In the last election cycle, the industry threw its financial clout behind relatively conservative, pro-business Democratic candidates who ended up losing to progressive candidates backed by the pro-labor Working Families Party. This year, the Real Estate Board of New York is betting on candidates more likely to win – candidates who are also backed by the WFP – but far more liberal than the ones they backed last time around, according to Crain’s.

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REBNY’s Steven Spinola told the publication that the overlap between its candidates and WFP’s isn’t surprising because employment growth is the key issue.

“Jobs for New York backs candidates who will work to expand the city’s middle class through the creation of good jobs and housing,” Spinola said in a statement. “It’s not surprising there is overlap between our candidates and ones backed by various labor unions. Given the role income-producing properties play in New York City, that alignment only makes sense.”

The PAC’s emphasis on negative campaign literature, however, could make future lawmakers wary of REBNY’s power, as The Real Deal reported. [Crain’s]  – Hiten Samtani