New York City voters are going back to the ballots! NYC Public Advocate Special Election Officially Set for February 26. This race is expected to have more than two dozen candidates.
This past week, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a proclamation setting February 26th as the date for the New York City’s Public Advocate special election.
Who is the Public Advocate? The Public Advocate is the second highest-ranking elected official in the city, who champions the public and ensures the city's agencies are responsive to their needs.
Why is there a Special Election?
Well, the former Public Advocate, Letitia James, was elected to the office of Attorney General this past November. She was sworn into office this week, officially becoming the first African-American Attorney General of New York. Ms. James is the states’ 67th Attorney General, and is the first woman to be elected to the position. “It is the highest honor to officially begin my time as the Attorney General for the great state of New York,” James said in a statement from the office.
Her departure means the office of Public Advocate for New York City is open. City Council Speaker Cory Johnson has temporarily assumed the office. He will be the Acting Public Advocate until the February special election.
For this February’s special election there won’t be a party primary, and anyone who secures enough signatures and files their ballot petition will be on the ballot.
The winner of the special election will serve as public advocate until at least Dec. 31, 2019, but would have to campaign again in the general election. Primaries and the general election will take place in September and November. The winner will serve through 2021.
Who is running to be the next Public Advocate of New York City? That is the multi-million dollar question, since the number of candidates puts the cost of running this special election at approximately $15 million, according to the Board of Elections.
According to the Gotham Gazette, there are roughly two-dozen candidates who have officially declared or indicated they are exploring a run. The list includes City Council members Jumaane Williams, Ydanis Rodriguez, Robert Cornegy, Rafael Espinal, Eric Ulrich, and former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. Assembly members Michael Blake and Daniel O’Donnell have also announced their intention to run for public advocate. (See full alphabetized below)
MNN’s Race to Represent will have statements and interviews with each candidate starting in February.
NYC's Public Advocate List of Candidates (List compiled by Gotham Gazette):
Manny Alicandro is an attorney and ran to be Republican nomination for attorney general. @Manny_Alicandro
Assemblymember Michael Blake represents part of the Bronx and is a vice chair of the DNC. @MrMikeBlake
Daniel Christmann is a radio host. @EcallerTh
David Eisenbach is a professor at Columbia University ran in 2017 as Democratic for Public Advocate. @Eisenbach4NY
City Council Member Rafael Espinal represents part of Brooklyn. @RLEspinal
Peter Gleason is an attorney and former police officer and firefighter. @PeterGleasonEsq
Gwen Goodwin is a community activist and past candidate for City Council.
Tony Herbert is a community activist who was a candidate for Public Advocate in 2017. @herbert4nyc
Ifeoma Ike is an attorney and co-founder of consultancy Think Rubix, LLC. @IfyWorks
Assemblymember Ron Kim represents parts of Queens. @rontkim
Nomiki Konst is a journalist, activist, and member of the Democratic National Committee. @NomikiKonst
Abbey Laurel-Smith @The46thPOTUS_
Melissa Mark-Viverito is former Speaker of the City Council. @MMViverito
Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell represents part of Manhattan. @DannyforNYC
Jared Rich is an attorney from Brooklyn. @JaredRichNYC
City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez represents part of Manhattan. @ydanis
Ralph Schweizer is a Bronx activist. @RealRalphNYC
Diane Signorile is a real estate broker from Staten Island. @kittydat2
Curtis Sliwa is a radio host. @CurtisSliwa
Nancy Sliwa is an attorney who ran for attorney general in 2017 year on the Reform Party line. @SLIWA4NYAG
Dawn Smalls is an attorney who previously worked in the Obama and Clinton administrations. @DawnSmalls2
John Tabacco is the New York State Reform Party secretary. @HTBExperts
City Council Member Eric Ulrich represents part of Queens. @eric_ulrich
Assemblymember Latrice Walker represents part of Brooklyn. @WalkerForNYC
City Council Member Jumaane Williams represents part of Brooklyn. @JumaaneWilliams
Ben Yee is a entrepreneur, member of the DSC, and secretary for the Manhattan Democratic Party. @yben
Mike Zumbluskas is the former chair of the Manhattan Independence Party. @MikeZumbluskas