Duel in Dyker: Candidates spar over campaign finance

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The Ridge’s assemblyman wants to put your money where his mouth is.

The Dyker Heights Civic Association’s Oct. 14 candidate’s forum got testy when Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny (D–Bay Ridge) suggested his well-funded Republican opponent Stamatis Lilikakis was so unprepared for office that he would support expanded taxpayer funding for campaigns to help stronger Republican candidates win primary elections.

“For years I’ve been thinking whether I want to vote for public [campaign] financing,” said the four-term incumbent, “and after the Republican primaries in the 46th Assembly District — because of you Stamatis — I’m going to be voting for it, because I want to have an opponent who will be able to walk with me, debating with me at a very serious level — not just saying we have to do this and we have to do that without an idea of how to do it,” he said in a jab at Lilikakis’s claim that lowering taxes would be a panacea for declining state revenue, business flight, and even firehouse closures.

Brook-Krasny suggested that Lilikakis only one his party’s primary by out-spending a better-qualified candidate.

“We have a Republican leader — Lucretia Regina-Potter — who would be a great opponent. We’d discuss a lot of issues at a very healthy level. In those Republican primaries, you were able to beat Regina because you were able to raise money and Regina couldn’t,” he said.

But if anyone would benefit from public campaign financing, it would be Lilikakis himself, the challenger shot back.

“I know you’re all for public financing and that’s fine, because you raised a lot more than I did, sir,” Lilikakis said.

State campaign finance records show that Lilikakis has raised a little over $71,500 to Brook-Krasny’s $75,680 — but $20,000 of Lilikakis’s total came out of his own pocket. Brook-Krasny has out-spent the Republican by an even higher margin, records show. Lilikakis reports expenditures of more than $71,100 this cycle, while Brook-Krasny spent more than $78,000.

But Republicans appear to be happy with their candidate, and Brook-Krasny’s favored opponent actually announced her support for Lilikakis earlier this month — despite a bruising primary battle and Regina-Potter’s sharp words for the candidate’s powerful ally, state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay ridge) after the vote.

“It’s the first time in 30 years that we’ve had a united Republican party in Brooklyn,” Lilikakis said.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @MJaeger88.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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