By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Rev. Khader El-Yateem may be a political newcomer, but he is proving to be a prodigious fundraiser, according to figures released by the New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB), which showed that he has garnered more financial support than any other candidate running for the City Council seat representing the Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights area.
Figures released by CFB showed that El-Yateem, the pastor of Salaam Arabic Lutheran Church in Bay Ridge and a first-time candidate for public office, has raised an impressive $81,611.
El-Yateem, a Democrat, said the CFB figures demonstrate that there is widespread, grass-roots support for his candidacy.
“We raised this money without the support of PACs, special interest groups or big corporations. My donors are deli owners, cab drivers, health professionals, teachers, parents and students, who are investing in a new political reality where all people in our district can thrive and live with dignity,” El-Yateem said in a statement.
Fellow Democrat Justin Brannan has raised $73,000, according to the CFB.
Two other Democrats in the race, Kevin Peter Carroll and Nancy Tong, have raised $26,701 and $4,170, respectively.
Among the Republican candidates, Liam McCabe raised the most, with $45,420 in campaign contributions to his credit.
John Quaglione has $42,901 in donations and Bob Capano reported $26,516 in campaign contributions from supporters.
The candidates are all running in the 43rd Council District, a seat that covers Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights and includes parts of Bensonhurst. The district is currently represented by Councilmember Vincent Gentile, a Democrat who has held the council seat since 2003.
Gentile is term-limited, however, and cannot run for re-election.
The Democratic and Republican primaries will take place on Sept. 12. The winners of the primaries will face each other in the general election on Nov. 7.