(Bloomberg) — Four big hedge fund managers contributed a total of $2 million to a political action committee supporting Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who is leading in some polls for the Democratic primary for New York City mayor.
Billionaires Ken Griffin, Dan Loeb, Stanley Druckenmiller and Paul Tudor Jones donated to Strong Leadership NYC Inc., which spent about $1.2 million on a television ad for Adams, who is running on a tough-on-crime platform. The committee, which can spend unlimited amounts on the race as long as it’s not coordinating with the Adams campaign, was set up by Jenny Sedlis, the executive director of StudentsFirstNY, a group that backs charter schools.
Adams, who retired at the rank of captain from the New York Police Department after a 22-year career, initially made his mark as a police reformer. He is campaigning ahead of the June 22 Democratic primary on a violence crackdown, saying he wants to create a controversial plainclothes anti-gun unit similar to an anti-crime unit that was disbanded after it generated a disproportionate share of complaints and instances of excessive force.
Spokespeople for Griffin, Loeb, Druckenmiller and Tudor Jones didn’t provide immediate comment.
With about a month left before the June 22 Democratic primary, Super-PACs backed by wealthy individuals, corporations and labor unions are pouring cash into a race that has been described as the city’s most consequential in a generation. New York for Ray, which backs former Citigroup Inc. banker Ray McGuire has raised $6 million for his mayoral bid, according to state Board of Elections records. A group backing former city housing commissioner Shaun Donovan has raised about $7 million, most of it coming from Donovan’s father.
Griffin, the founder and chief executive of Citadel Securities LLC, and Loeb, founder of Third Point LLC, also gave $500,000 each to an Andrew Yang Super-PAC. Citadel chief executive Peng Zhao also gave $250,000 to the Yang committee and Jeff Yass, co-founder of quant trading firm Susquehanna International Group gave $500,000.
Griffin, a long-time Republican backer, gave more than $66 million to conservative outside spending groups in the 2020 presidential cycle and Yass gave about $30 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
A poll released Monday by Emerson College and Pix11 had Adams leading the race with 18%, ranking him first among 631 people polled from May 13-15. Yang and city comptroller Scott Stringer were tied at 15%.