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Bill Thompson Rakes in $1M for Mayoral Run

By Jill Colvin | January 14, 2013 12:47pm | Updated on January 14, 2013 9:16pm

NEW YORK CITY — Former Comptroller Bill Thompson raised more than $1 million over the past six months for his mayoral run, his campaign announced Monday, giving pause to naysayers who have argued his run lacks steam.

The amount, collected between July 12, 2012 and Jan. 11, 2013, represents a huge jump from previous cycles, when Thompson averaged less than half a million dollars in incoming cash.

The move was hailed by his campaign as "a tremendous show of support as the campaign kicks into high gear and charts a course for victory."

“New Yorkers know we need a mayor with the experience, leadership and vision to represent every community in every borough,” Thompson said in a statement. “I am honored and encouraged by this strong show of support."

Democratic consultant Hank Sheinkopf, who said he is not advising Thompson, said surpassing the "magical" $1 million was proof that Thompson had the fire to run a competitive race.

“This ends the argument that Thompson doesn't have the spirit to run a hard-fought and difficult campaign," Sheinkopf said. “This now makes him a player in the game."

Meanwhile, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio reported raising $725,000 — less than what he raised during his previous two filing periods, but still a strong showing, his campaign said.

The total, his campaign manager Bill Hyers said, brings the campaign's total raised (including expected matching funds) to more than $5.3 million — "well on our way to hitting the primary spending limit," Hyers said.

City Comptroller John Liu, meanwhile, reported Sunday that his campaign raised just over half a million dollars during the same period, despite being in the midst of a federal investigation.

Liu collected $522,000 through 2,052 contributions over the past six months, according to the campaign, which threw an elaborate birthday bash last week ahead of the deadline.

"I'm truly touched by the magnitude of support from my fellow New Yorkers, especially from first-time donors to any campaign, and humbly proud of the strong foundation from which I will soon launch my 2013 campaign," Liu said in a statement.

"All systems go, full steam ahead!"

Liu has continued to enjoy fierce loyalty from many of his supporters, despite the allegations that his team broke the law by attempting to skirt fundraising limits.

Jia "Jenny" Hou, Liu's former campaign treasurer, and a key fundraiser, Xing Wu "Oliver" Pan, are set to face trial in Federal District Court in Manhattan on Feb. 4. Liu has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

Nonetheless, the latest sum is less than the $577,000 Liu collected during the previous fundraising period, and far less than the nearly $1 million he raised during the six months before the scandal broke.

He has also been burning through cash. His campaign spent $345,000 over the last six months — or 66 percent of the money raised — leaving him with just over $2 million in the bank, according to the campaign.

It was not immediately clear what the money was spent on, but previous filings have shown large expenditures on legal bills. Full details must be filed with the city's Campaign Finance Board by Tuesday.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who had already raised as much as she was allowed to spend on the primary, also added $457,000 to her campaign coffers over the past six months. She has now raised $6.1 million to date, and has $5.3 million in cash on-hand, her campaign said.

Former City Councilman Sal Albanese, who has also thrown his hat into the race, reported raising $134,216 during his first filing period. He now has more than $123,600 in cash on-hand one week after he formally announced his run for mayor.

"We consider this a successful first week of fundraising as Sal's position in the private sector required him to refrain from any fundraising activity," campaign spokesman Todd Brogan said in a statement Monday.

"Contributions are coming through the door every day from working people across New York City, and we're confident they'll grow exponentially in the weeks ahead."

On the Republican side, George McDonald, the Doe Fund founder who began fundraising in December and formally launched his campaign last week, announced he has raised $277,378 so far from 81 donors.

McDonald2013 ended the period with $155,211 in cash on-hand, after paying expenses, according to his campaign.

And Manhattan Media CEO Tom Allon said Monday that he had raised about $50,000 over the past six months, bringing his total raised to date to about $286,000.

Despite the lackluster total, Allon said he was pleased with the influence he has begun to have over the debate over issues, as well as his growing social media following, which now includes close to 2,000 Twitter followers.

“I’m delighted that I am reaching this many people with ideas for solutions to the challenges New York City faces in the future," he said in a statement.

"The response has been amazing and I look forward to a healthy debate in 2013 on the issues that really matter to New Yorkers."

Other potential candidates also expected to run are former MTA Chairman Joe Lhota, supermarket baron John Catsimatidis and former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr.