Real Estate Board backs Donovan Richards in Queens BP race

The strong Actual Estate Board of New York is throwing its muscle mass at the rear of Councilman Donovan Richards to come to be Queens’ upcoming borough president — and is encouraging to fundraise for the Considerably Rockaway Democrat, The Publish has uncovered.

“We firmly feel Council Member Donovan Richards would ideal serve in this part,” wrote REBNY president James Whelan in an email that was despatched to the organization’s board last 7 days and attained by The Publish.

Whelan pointed to Richards aid for rezonings and for controversial general public-personal partnerships to shell out for rehabbing decrepit general public housing developments as motives for backing him.

“We can’t expect to see eye-to-eye with each elected formal on each concern,” he added. “We can expect, and should really aid, these candidates who are inclined to have direct, honest discussions about means we can do the job collectively to transfer the Metropolis ahead — and we feel Donovan is that applicant.”

Whelan’s Feb. 14 email called for REBNY’s deep-pocketed users to add to Richards’ campaign and included an invite to a Feb. 19 fundraiser structured by Queens genuine estate broker Eric Benaim.

Richards has consistently embraced genuine estate for the duration of the race, even as progressive activists in western Queens flex their newfound muscle mass in borough politics.

REBNY president James Whelan
REBNY president James WhelanCourtesy of REBNY

He even turned it into a bragging position for the duration of a Feb. 4 forum structured by the Queens Chamber of Commerce.

“If Anthony will not consider genuine estate checks,” he explained, referencing a competitor, Anthony Miranda, who experienced spoken right before him at the occasion. “I certainly will if you are in this place and want to reduce a verify.”

REBNY’s backing will enable Richards with the sluggish fundraising that plagued his campaign for the duration of the early days of the intense race.

He raised just $199,000 and did not qualify for town matching money, according to studies submitted with the town Marketing campaign Finance Board in January.

That is just a portion of the $453,000 in personal donations obtained by former town councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, who netted one more $498,000 in general public income to bring her full to nearly $one million.

One more major competitor, Councilman Costa Constantinides, scored nearly $477,000 in general public funding on major of his $227,000 in personal contributions — providing him additional than $seven-hundred,000.

What Richards lacked in fundraising muscle mass he has created up with institutional aid, together with scoring the backing of the Queens County Democratic Party.

The March 24 distinctive election was called after former Borough President Melinda Katz’s remaining the gig after successful a fiercely contested race to come to be the Queens’ district lawyer after the borough’s longtime major prosecutor, Dick Brown, died.

Nine people jumped at the opportunity to fill the largely ceremonial ‘beep’ part, together with higher-profile Metropolis Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who later dropped out citing family members motives.

“Council Member Richards has crafted a great number of relationships in his many years doing the job to enhance his district and construct additional affordable housing,” explained spokesman Thomas Musich. “As borough president, he will continue on that good results across the borough.”

 – More reporting by Carl Campanile