East Side City Councilman Daniel Garodnick has raised more than $1 million for a run at citywide office, posing a potential challenge to replace embattled City Comptroller John Liu, who is eyeing a run for mayor.
Garodnick raised more than $280,000 over the past six months, according to campaign filings released Wednesday, bringing his campaign war chest to more than $1 million so far.
“That’s a considerable amount of bucks,” said Baruch College politics professor Doug Muzzio. “If Liu does run for mayor and opens up the comptroller seat or needs to resign… Garodnick is in a really good spot," he said.
While the councilman has not yet officially declared his candidacy for any position, sources close to him said he’s eyeing a run for comptroller if Liu leaves the post, setting up a potential challenge with fellow Councilman Domenic Recchia Jr., who currently heads the Council's powerful Finance Committee.
Recchia brought in over $270,000 over the past six months, bringing his total raised to $483,000 for the 2013 race.
If Liu chooses to remain comptroller, some believe Garodnick would also be a strong candidate for Manhattan Borough President, a position that is also being eyed by Community Board 1 chairwoman Julie Menin, as well as Councilwoman Jessica Lappin. Current Borough President Scott Stringer is running for mayor.
Garodnick, who chairs the Council’s Consumer Affairs committee and held a large campaign kick-off event earlier this month, said he was excited by the numbers, which place him among the city’s fundraising elite.
“People have been extremely supportive, and I’m encouraged by that,” Garodnick said of the filings, which were made public Wednesday.
“I think that my approach of trying to solve people’s problems by rolling up your sleeves and getting things done is appealing. I’ve tried to bring that, along with progressive values, to the table,” he added.
In addition to his focus on consumer protection issues, Garodnick said he will continue to push for long-term affordable housing and stability for tenants at Stuyvesent Town and Peter Cooper Village, where he was raised and currenty lives with his wife and young son.
In addition to his cash flow, Garodnick's records show he spent about $34,000 over the past six months, mainly on campaign consultants, voter databases, and a major event at the Mexican restaurant Mojave in Astoria, Queens.
While other candidates like Stringer have courted money from big-names celebs, including actress Scarlett Johansson and Lady Gaga’s dad, Joe Germanotta, Garodnick said he’s relying on longtime supporters, including his family.
“My mom is there,” he joked. “That’s the biggest name I think you’re going to find.” (Records show she donated $200 last week.)
And while he intends to continue fundraising, Garodnick said his energy will remain focused on his current Council gig.
“There’s still two years to go, and I have a list of legislative goals that is extremely long,” he said. "There is a lot to do.”