Mayoral candidate Gary Holder-Winfield Thursday formally signed papers to participate in New Haven’s public-financing system—and the system’s administrator said money raised to date should count.
Holder-Winfield, a Democratic state representative from Newhallville, met with Democracy Fund administrator Ken Krayeske to sign the documents. He joins another announced mayoral candidate, Democratic East Rock Alderman Jusiin Elicker, in signing on to agree to limit individual contributions to $370 and swear off special-interest money in return for public campaign dollars.
“He is a qualified candidate,” Krayeske said. “He’s on board.”
That means contributions to Holder-Winfield’s campaign will be eligible for matching money from the Democracy Fund. The goal of the Fund is to limit the influence of large private contributions on mayoral campaigns, to hold down the cost of campaigns, and to enable more candidates to participate. Candidates who collect at least 200 donations of at least $10 can quality for a $19,000 grant from the Fund plus matching dollars. The Fund matches the first $25 of donations at a rate of two to one.
There had been some confusion about whether contributions already collected by Holder-Winfield’s campaign would count toward the match; candidates must be registered with the Fund and have contributors fill out a form. Krayeske said Holder-Winfield had had his contributors to date fill out a form with language matching that of the Fund’s official forms, so they will indeed be eligible. “Assuming that they’re all qualifying donations [$370 or under and from registered New Haven voters], I think it will be fine,” Krayeske said.