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Challengers in Flatbush Council Race Raise Tens of Thousands of Dollars

 Council Member Mathieu Eugene is facing three challengers to his seat in the 40th Council District in Brooklyn.
Council Member Mathieu Eugene is facing three challengers to his seat in the 40th Council District in Brooklyn.
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DNAinfo/Paul Lomax

FLATBUSH — Less than three weeks from New York’s primary, challengers to Flatbush’s incumbent City Council representative are giving him a run for his money.

In the four-way race for the 40th Council District, Councilman Mathieu Eugene has raised $84,612 with $56,762 cash on hand, as of the latest Campaign Finance Board filings.

But that’s about $13,000 less than cash available to first-time candidate Pia Raymond, a Prospect-Lefferts Gardens entrepreneur, who has raised $27,027 in donations and is eligible for six-to-one public matching funds, putting her total campaign war chest just over $70,000, according to CFB records.

In a statement, Raymond thanked "all of the people in my district for their show of confidence in me and their support."

"It was their many donations starting from as little as $10 that allowed me to shock my opponents and their supporters," she said.

Another challenger to Eugene, Brian Cunningham, who previously served as City Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo’s chief of staff, has raised tens of thousands and is hoping to qualify for matching funds before the Sept. 12 primary, giving him more than $100,000 in funds, he says.

Cunningham has raised $41,717, according to the latest CFB numbers, but has not yet qualified for public matching funds, the CFB said. According to a spokeswoman, the CFB does not comment on why a candidate does not receive matching funds, but Cunningham told DNAinfo New York on Friday he believes it is due to a standard CFB audit of in-district donations and isn’t worried. He hopes to qualify for matching after the CFB’s next filing deadline Sept. 1.

“We’ve run a grassroots campaign and we have the support, not only of people in the district, but across the city of New York. We’re going into the home stretch of this campaign more fired up than we’ve ever been,” he said.

He also commended the CFB for its thorough checks on “public dollars” disbursed to partisan candidates through the city’s public matching program, saying “folks should know where their money is going.”

A fourth candidate, housing advocate Jennifer Berkley, has raised a total of $5,382, CFB records show.

New York’s primary will be held Tuesday, Sept. 12. For more information about how and where to vote, visit the New York City Board of Elections website.