New financial disclosures show that Julia Salazar, a New York state senator who campaigned as a democratic socialist, dipped deeply into her trust fund to fund her campaign.
The freshman lawmaker filed papers stating the trust was worth $10 million, according to the New York Post. She later claimed the original number was an error, and that the trust was only worth $400,000, citing a clerical mistake on her part.
Salazar withdrew $18,000 from the fund during her campaign and told the Postthat she needed the money to cover her living expenses while taking leave from work.
“The $18,000 was used to support myself, because I had to stop working in order to campaign, and I had to go on unpaid leave,” she said. “Basically seven months of living expenses on top of savings that I had from working.”
Salazar is not required to report the fund’s full value, but according to media reports, the fund was worth an excess of $600,000 in 2011.
While campaigning in 2018, Salazar came under fire for misrepresenting her background as a Colombian-born “proud immigrant” coming from a poor, working-class family. In reality, Salazar was born in the United States and raised in a middle class Florida family. Salazar also attempted to claim Jewish ancestry on her father’s side, though her mother told the Post that her daughter was baptized Catholic.