Suffolk County Charter Law § 42 creates the gold standard of excellence for accountability and transparency in campaign finance. As a participant, candidates agree to hold themselves to a higher standard, thus committing to mitigate the influence of special interest groups, prioritizing voters, and amplifying the voice of all Suffolk County residents.

How Voters Benefit

By matching campaign contributions with public funds, the Fair Elections Matching Fund program empowers Suffolk County residents to make their voices heard in elections. By encouraging candidates to raise smaller sized contributions from local residents, the program increases engagement between voters and those who seek to represent them. Matching funds encourages voters to be more involved in elections, and it helps ensure elected officials are accountable to their local residents, not to outside special interests. With this program, local contributors are the most important source of a candidate’s funding.

How Candidates Benefit

For every dollar contributed up to $250* by an eligible donor, a participating candidate or designated committee can receive public matching funds. The funds make it easier for Suffolk County residents to enter public life and run for office. Using the matching funds, candidates can run more competitive campaigns even if they lack access to outside special interest groups. Enrolled candidates can build a viable campaign by relying on the support of their neighbors and constituents.

How Democracy Benefits

With public matching funds, Suffolk residents can run (and win) campaigns against well-known, well-funded opponents. Candidates can run for county elected offices with limited financial resources and be competitive. “Candidates across the country attest to the democracy-enhancing benefits of small donor public financing. The policy enables them to spend more time with their constituents, improving the responsiveness of government. Government officials elected with public financing were able to focus on local community interests without the influence of outside special interest groups. In addition, campaign matching funds assist in breaking down barriers to elected positions that historically have disadvantaged women and people of color.” (See Small Donor Public Financing Plays Role in Electing Most Diverse New York City Council 11/5/2021) Candidates must agree to cap the total contributions received to reasonable and appropriate levels, forego acceptance of large donations, and restrict certain expenditures as set forth in the Charter Law.

Comprehensive disclosure of candidates’ financial activity provides transparency that helps maintain public confidence in the political process. In addition, rigorous audits of every campaign will ensure compliance with the requirements of the Fair Election Matching Fund Program and New York State Campaign Finance Laws. The CFB’s independent, nonpartisan oversight of candidates’ fundraising and spending creates a culture of respect for the law, which benefits all Suffolk County Residents.

How to qualify for Matching Funds?

Funds are available to qualified candidates who seek the office of Suffolk County Executive or Suffolk County Legislator in a primary, general, or special election. Eligible participants must comply with all program requirements;

  • Meet a two-part threshold to demonstrate community support.
  • Certify agreement to comply with the requirements of Charter Law §42.
  • Be a certified candidate to appear on the ballot and have an opponent.
  • Submit all required financial disclosures and supporting documentation in accordance with State and County election laws.

How much can I get in campaign fund matching?

Qualified candidates for County Legislator may receive a maximum up to and including $50,000* in public financing. Qualified candidates for County Executive can receive a maximum of $1,000,000*. If a candidate participates in both the primary and general elections; the maximum is $70,000* and $1,300,000* respectively to cover designated, eligible County expenditures.

How much money can I raise?

County Legislative candidates agree not to accept contributions to exceed $50,000 for a general election or more than $80,000 for a primary and general election in any given cycle. County Executive candidates agree not to accept contributions to exceed $1,000,000 for a general election or more than $1,200,000 for a primary and general election in any given cycle.

Suffolk County Fair Election Matching Fund
Office Individual Aggregates Contribution Limits Minimum Funds Raised Number of Contributions Maximum Public Contributions Maximum Public Match Payment Maximum Cycle Expenditures
Legislator1 $1,500 $5,000MatchableContributions 30 Donors $50,000 $50,000 $100,000
County Executive2 $15,000 $25,000MatchableContributions 150 Donors $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $2,000,000

Matching Rage $4-$1 | Maximum Matchable Dollars Per Contributor $250

Maximum Public Funds Per Contributor $1,000

1 All contributions that are eligible for matching funds must be from donors residing in the respective legislative district.

2 All contributions that are eligible for matching funds must be from donors residing in the County of Suffolk.

Where do the matching funds come from?

In accordance with Suffolk County, The Fair Elections Matching Fund Program is allotted a share of the annual proceeds received from the operation of video lottery terminals by the Suffolk Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation (SCOTB) to fund the CFB operating budget.

How to enroll?

Please visit our website at: and click on the portal to register and begin the enrollment process.

*Dollar amounts shown are for general election only. Exact amounts for both primary and general are available on our website in greater detail.

DISCLAIMER: The enclosed information is intended for general information purposes only. To the extent that the information contained herein contains legal interpretation it is strongly recommended that the candidate seek independent advice from an attorney. Nothing contained in this brochure shall be considered legally binding upon the Campaign Finance Board.