For several months, the New York City mayor’s race seemed to revolve around two presumed front-runners: Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, and Scott M. Stringer, the city comptroller.
The two Democrats had name recognition, ties to party leaders and established bases of political and financial support. They had far outpaced the rest of the field in raising money, and were the only two candidates who had raised enough to qualify for public matching funds.
Now, two more Democratic candidates, Maya Wiley and Shaun Donovan, have qualified for the matching-funds program by meeting the criteria of raising at least $250,000 from at least 1,000 donors, according to their campaigns.
The contours of the race changed this week with a double jolt of news from two other Democrats: Raymond J. McGuire, a former Citigroup executive, reported that he had raised $5 million in three months, and Andrew Yang, a 2020 presidential candidate, officially joined the race.
But the fund-raising numbers, which were to be released by the city’s Campaign Finance Board late Friday, offered even more shape to the free-for-all race, which currently has more than a dozen candidates.
Mr. Adams has raised the most money overall so far, $8.6 million, and will have just over $8 million on hand once matching funds are distributed, his campaign said. He raised $438,000 in the most recent period, with $123,000 of it matchable, and expects a $1 million matching funds payment.
Mr. Stringer was expected to have raised at least $8.3 million overall, and to have $7.5 million on hand after raising $458,000 in the latest period, keeping pace with Mr. Adams. Mr. Stringer’s campaign said it expects $1.57 million in matching funds.
Ms. Wiley a former MSNBC analyst who also served as counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio, may have solidified her status as a contender by meeting the matching-funds threshold with her latest fund-raising figures. Ms. Wiley raised $715,000, $280,000 of it matchable, qualifying her for $2.2 million in public money, and bringing the total she has raised to almost $3 million, her campaign said.
Ms. Wiley’s campaign flooded email inboxes and social media before this week’s deadline with desperate pleas for donations of as little as $10, offering “Maya for Mayor” bumper stickers to contributors and raising questions about whether she would qualify for matching funds.
In a message to her supporters, Ms. Wiley celebrated meeting the threshold and said the fund-raising support she received showed that “we gon’ win this race.”
Mr. Donovan, a former federal housing secretary under President Barack Obama, expected to have raised $2.6 million overall after receiving contributions totaling $954,000 in the most recent period, and anticipated a matching payment of $1 million.
Mr. Donovan made a point of noting donors like current and former mayors from other U.S. cities, as well as a list of Obama administration alumni.
Mr. McGuire, the only mayoral candidate who is not participating in the matching-funds program, raised much of his money from the business community. At least 20 billionaires — including the hedge fund founder John Griffin and Howard Schultz, the former chief executive of Starbucks — appear on Mr. McGuire’s donor list, which also includes people who have been major contributors to Republican candidates. Mr. McGuire has $3.7 million on hand.
Because Mr. McGuire has raised so much money, the spending cap for the June primary will probably be increased to $10.9 million from $7.3 million, meaning candidates like Mr. Adams and Mr. Stringer who were close to the spending threshold can continue to raise money.
The city’s public campaign-finance system is built to withstand that sort of shock because of the emphasis it places on small-dollar donors, said Matthew Sollars, a Campaign Finance Board spokesman.
Two other Democratic candidates, Zach Iscol, a nonprofit entrepreneur and former Marine; and Dianne Morales, a nonprofit executive, failed to meet the matching-funds threshold.
Mr. Iscol reported that he had fallen just short of qualifying for matching funds, while Ms. Morales said she had missed the threshold by about $70,000.
Ms. Morales told supporters that her campaign had raised $340,000 overall and had 4,100 contributors from the city who gave an average of $50. About 30 percent of Ms. Morales’s donors described themselves as unemployed, her campaign said.
Ms. Morales’s campaign, which is focused on working-class and poor New Yorkers, expects to qualify for matching funds at the next deadline after a strong showing in raising money in the past week.
“If we keep making money the standard for viability then you have to be connected to wealthy networks,” Ify Ike, a senior adviser for Ms. Morales, said. “We are not going to have a billionaire donate to our campaign.”
Several other candidates, including Carlos Menchaca, a councilman from Brooklyn; Kathryn Garcia, a former sanitation commissioner; and Loree Sutton, a former veteran affairs commissioner, also failed to qualify for matching funds.
Mr. Yang, who entered the race officially on Thursday, is expected to be competitive with the top mayoral fund-raisers. Mr. Yang had 21,000 donors from New York City during his run for president, giving him a list of potential contributors that he is expected to tap into quickly.
Before the pandemic, fund-raising had proceeded at a rapid pace, and face to face. Before he dropped out of the race in November, the City Council speaker, Corey Johnson, held 55 house parties from March 2019 to March 2020. Mr. Stringer held six house party events in January and February last year.
Now, most candidates are holding virtual fund-raisers. Mr. McGuire’s son, Cole Anthony, who plays for the N.B.A.’s Orlando Magic, held a fund-raiser with a teammate, Mo Bamba. Mr. McGuire has had 41 fund-raising events in three months, his campaign said.
The Campaign Finance Board could issue almost $6 million in taxpayer money to the four candidates who are accepting, and have qualified for, public funds, according to estimates from the candidates.
The board must audit the donations before distributing any money, which it is scheduled to do next month based on the latest filings. Those filings covered money raised from July 12, 2020 to Jan. 11. That would bring the total of public funds to be distributed in the race to close to $14 million.
“This is a very different time to be campaigning, through a pandemic,” said Ioanna Niejelow, Mr. Donovan’s finance director and a veteran fund-raiser who has worked on campaigns for Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.
Mr. Donovan has been holding hourlong virtual fund-raisers with 50 to 75 people to allow him to interact with attendees.
“I know all about grip and grin, and there’s a real beauty to that,” Ms. Niejelow said. “But given this environment, virtual has been remarkable in terms of getting out there and having great conversations.”