It’s the other citywide race in this year’s elections.

And like the one for mayor, the race for comptroller is crucial in charting New York City’s path back to health.

What You Need To Know

  • Income equity, police accountability, affordable housing are themes of comptroller race

  • Candidates say audits can hold agencies accountable

  • They also say proper investment, divestment of city's pension funds can help rebuild

“This is actually worse than the fiscal crisis of ’75, the 9/11 fiscal crisis and the 2008 recession all together. So we’re in tough times for a couple years," said David Weprin, a state assemblyman.
“In the midst of this pandemic, we’re fighting for both our lives and our livelihoods, and the city comptroller’s office is going to be critical in protecting both,” said Kevin Parker, a state senator.
With Scott Stringer term-limited out of office and running for mayor, there are five Democratic comptroller candidates who’ve filed fundraising reports.

Four are current lawmakers: Weprin, Parker, City Council Member Brad Lander and State Senator Brian Benjamin.

Weprin is calling for more frequent audits of city agencies.

Parker seeks to thoroughly audit the NYPD.

Lander's platform includes a focus on equity.

“This crisis has been extremely clarifying," Lander said. "We know what it costs when we don’t get ready, when we leave some communities more at risk and more at harm than others, and when we don’t prepare in advance, so if we choose to keep doing that, we’re not learning the lesson of this crisis."
Lander leads in fundraising.

Meanwhile, Benjamin’s fundraising was scrutinized for apparent fraud.

The news outlet The City reported that his campaign had listed as donors people who didn’t actually give to him, including a 2-year-old.

Benjamin says his team went to the city Campaign Finance Board as soon as they learned about the issue and contributed to its matching funds program.

He turns his attention to how the city can better leverage its pension system.

“Just last year, Emily, $10 billion from the city’s budget went to pension contributions," Benjamin said. "If we manage the pension funds better, get better returns, that number can reduce. And if we reduce number gets reduced, that’s more money that can go to our social services, education.”

Terri Liftin, an investment bank executive, is also in the race. Her campaign finance filings show her in the red. 

Reshma Patel, president of a local Democratic club, has filed to run but hasn’t yet reported funds.

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, who lost her bid to unseat Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has also filed and is poised to enter the primary.

And Politico reported that entrepreneur Zach Iscol is abandoning his bid for mayor and running instead for comptroller.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story misstated the number of Democratic comptroller candidates who've filed fundraising reports. There are five candidates, not four.