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Suffolk Establishes Campaign Finance Board For Local Elections

Alexander F. Yuan

Suffolk County has established a public campaign finance board to oversee the distribution of public money to political campaigns.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has chosen Mercy Smith to lead the board. She will be tasked with the implementation of the program. Smith will also announce the guidelines on how candidates can secure funds and will oversee the promotion of the initiative.

Outside of New York City, Suffolk County is the largest local government in the state to establish a campaign finance program.

Bellone said publicly funded elections increase voter turnout and encourage “ordinary citizens” to run for office.

The committee also aims to decrease the power rich donors and special interest groups have on elections.