The Long Island billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah have contributed the legal maximum to New York City mayoral hopeful Nicole Malliotakis, the presumptive Republican nominee, according to a regulatory disclosure this week.
It’s their first time contributing to a New York City political campaign, according to a search of the city Campaign Finance Board’s database.
The board disclosure shows that each Mercer gave $4,950 on July 11 to Malliotakis — a Republican state assemblywoman from Staten Island who entered the race in April and hopes to unseat incumbent Bill de Blasio, who in 2013 became the city’s first Democratic mayor in two decades.
The Mercer family, credited with helping choreograph the campaign reshuffle last year that catapulted Donald Trump into the White House, have spent nearly $4 million since 2009 trying to influence state and local races, Newsday found earlier this year.
Neither Mercer returned messages seeking comment Saturday.
On Friday, the Malliotakis campaign said it had raised about $250,000 in the most recent disclosure period, a total of about $350,000 since she declared.
An analysis by Politico New York concluded that Malliotakis had outraised de Blasio over the past two months, when the matching funds are factored in. Still, Malliotakis has come nowhere close to matching de Blasio’s $8.2 million haul, brought in since he declared for re-election, when expected matching funds are factored in, according to his campaign.
“We defied the naysayers who claimed Assemblywoman Malliotakis had entered the race too late to make a difference,” spokesman Rob Ryan said in an email, adding the campaign is “gaining the momentum needed to win this race.”
Since Malliotakis’ rival, real estate sales executive Paul Massey, withdrew from the race and left Malliotakis front-runner, de Blasio’s campaign has hammered away at tying Malliotakis to Trump, for whom she said she voted, in a city where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 6 to 1.
The mayor’s campaign has emailed a fundraising pitch showing a photo of Malliotakis next to Trump, and on Saturday, de Blasio campaign spokeswoman Monica Klein continued to link the two.
“It’s no surprise Trump supporters like the billionaire Mercers are donating to Nicole Malliotakis, the candidate who voted for the president and supports his deportation force,” Klein said by email.
Robert Mercer’s mayoral contribution disclosure lists his occupation as “financial consultant” and employer as “Renaissance Technologies,” the East Setauket hedge fund of which he is chief executive.
On the Trump campaign, reports have credited the family with driving support for Trump to hire advisers Stephen Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, and Rebekah Mercer steered a pro-Trump super PAC. The Mercers are also backers of Breitbart News, the right-wing news outlet.