More than 300 Candidates Register for New York’s Public Campaign Finance Program for 2024



Contact: Jack Lynch, [email protected], 908-487-1756

More than 300 Candidates Register for New York’s Public Campaign Finance Program for 2024 Elections

Fair Elections for New York Coalition Applauds Broad Popularity of State Program in its Inaugural Election Cycle — More than 300 Candidates for Legislature Registered Across New York – and Calls on State’s Leaders to Fully Fund Program in FY 2025

ALBANY, NY (February 27, 2024) — Today, Fair Elections for New York — a coalition of more than 200 organizations across the state — is proud to celebrate the continued success of New York’s Public Campaign Finance Program following the registration deadline for the 2024 campaign cycle.

More than 300 candidates for state senate and assembly from across the political spectrum have registered for the program for its first run this year. That’s well over half of the total number of candidates who ran in the 2022 legislative elections. The participants include both incumbents and newcomers who represent the geographic diversity of our state, hailing from more than three-quarters of legislative districts in rural, urban, and suburban communities. The full list of candidates is available on the New York State Public Campaign Finance Board’s website HERE

“The Public Campaign Finance Program is a beacon of hope for democracy, embodying the principles of fairness, transparency, and accountability in our electoral process. That is why we fought for over 20 years to offer New Yorkers this alternative. Candidate registrations for this cycle exceed expectations and mark a pivotal moment in the program’s implementation. We are thrilled to witness its widespread popularity among incumbent candidates and newcomers to the political arena,” said Karen Wharton, Democracy Coalition Coordinator at Citizen Action of New York. “By embracing public campaign financing, candidates are empowered to engage with constituents on the issues that matter most while reducing the influence of special interests in our state’s elections.”

Public campaign financing is broadly popular across the state and enjoys bipartisan support. A 2023 poll found that 62 percent of likely New York voters on both sides of the aisle wanted lawmakers to fund the program.  Data analyses show that if the program had been in place in the 2022 state legislative elections, it could have increased small donors’ share of giving sixfold, from just 11 percent to as much as 67 percent of campaign giving. 

In her executive budget, Governor Kathy Hochul committed to providing the program $114.5 million for the upcoming state fiscal year, including $14.5 million for administrative costs and $100 million for matching funds for candidates. Both houses of the state legislature are expected to release their one-house budgets in mid-March. The final state budget for FY 2025 is due on April 1.

“New York’s Public Campaign Finance Program is fast becoming a model for the nation. We knew it was popular with New York voters. Now we know it’s popular with candidates. Its success so far shows that there’s a real alternative to big money, special interest politics — and a viable path to a more inclusive and representative democracy,” said Joanna Zdanys, Senior Counsel in the Elections & Government Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law. “When our state’s leaders enacted this program in 2020, they pledged ‘to ensure a government that is accountable to all of the voters of the state regardless of wealth or position.’ They must provide the program the resources it needs to deliver on that promise in this election year. Governor Hochul has done her part. Now the state legislature must ensure that the final FY 2025 budget provides the $114.5 million she allocated for the program.”


The voluntary small-donor public financing program, enacted in 2020, allows candidates to receive a state-funded match for contributions of $250 or less from constituents. Under New York State’s program, candidates for statewide office can earn $6 in matching funds for every $1 from a New York resident, on contributions of $250 or less. Candidates for the legislature can earn matching funds (only for donations from residents of their district), with the smallest amounts matched at the highest ratio: a $12-to-$1 match for amounts up to $50, a $9-to-$1 match on the next $100, and an $8-to-$1 match on the next $100. 



About Fair Elections for New York – Fair Elections for New York is a coalition of 200+ organizations that believe New Yorkers deserve a responsive, accountable government. To tackle the crises we face in housing, living wage jobs, criminal justice, affordable health care, transportation, climate, fair taxes and more, we must protect and expand our democracy to ensure it is responsive to the majority of people, not just the wealthy and well-connected.