Friday, October 22, 2010

Wills Outraises Paultre-Bell by Ivan Pereira -

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Ex-Huntley staffer nets near $51K in race for White council seat

Ruben Wills has a major financial lead over Sean Bell’s fiancee, his chief rival for late City Councilman Thomas White’s vacated seat, who has raised roughly $6,000 for her bid, campaign finance records show.

Although major groups and other elected officials, such as the Rev. Al Sharpton, City Councilman James Sanders (D-Laurelton) and U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica), have been throwing their support behind Nicole Paultre-Bell, only 15 individuals have given her money for her campaign, according to the city Campaign Fiance Board.

Wills — who has the backing of his former boss, state Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Jamaica); Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans); and state Assemblywoman Barbara Clark (D-Jamaica) — has the financial backing of 157 contributors and is the only candidate in the race to receive matching public finds, campaign finance records show.

So far, he has collected a total of $50,921, with the largest donation of $1,375 from Local 1182, the union that represents traffic enforcement agents, according to campaign finance records. Wills has spent more than $7,000 on his campaign, with the largest outlays going to former state Sen. Martin Connor, who has been paid $1,500 to act as his attorney, according to the records.

Paultre-Bell, was given the green light to appear on the Nov. 2 ballot by a city Board of Elections judge last week, following a challenge to her petitions by Wills.

So far, she has received more than $6,000 in contributions, with the largest donation coming from New Jersey physician Christopher Kyriakides, who gave her campaign $1,350, Campaign Finance Board records show. All of her other donations are from single individuals and her attorney, Sanford Rubenstein, so far, according to the records. Paultre-Bell has spent $3,185 for her bid as of this week, including $3,000 to Oakland Gardens resident Jesus Ocasio to help with her signature petitioning, according to the Campaign Finance Board.

Albert Baldeo, who ran unsuccessfully for White’s seat in 2005, has more than $46,000 in his campaign coffers, with $27,000 coming from loans and nearly $4,000 coming out of his own pocket, according to the board. So far he has spent more than $19,000 on his current bid for office, including $3,350 to a political voter file vendor known as Prime New York for voter data, campaign finance records show.

Alan Jennings, who held the seat until he was censured by the City Council and forced out in the 2005 Democratic primary, has raised more than $7,000, with the largest contribution coming from a retired Jamaica resident named Norma Taylor, who gave him $1,375, campaign finance records show. He has spent more than $4,276 on his bid, including $590 that was given to Omar McClain for help in gathering petition signatures.

Harpreet Toor has raised more than $9,000 for his campaign, including a $1,001 donation from South Richmond Hill resident Prem Singh, based on the records. He has spent more than $6,000 on his campaign, including a $2,000 expenditure for voter data from the New York Public Affairs Group.

Charles Bilal has raised a total of $370 from $10 donations from 37 individuals, according to campaign finance records. He has not listed any expenditures for the race, campaign finance records show.

Although the city Board of Elections lists Martha Butler as a candidate for the race, there are no campaign finance listings for her as of press time Tuesday.