Special Election: NYC's Public Advocate

Public Advocate 16 Candidates

There are 16 people vying for your vote to be the next NYC Public Advocate.  Who are you voting for on February 26th in the city-wide special election?

The current vacancy was created when the most recent Public Advocate, Letitia James, was officially sworn in as the state’s Attorney General, a position she won in the November general election.

The Public Advocate's office is the second most powerful position in the city and is seen by many as a stepping stone to be Mayor.  

The 16 candidates remaining in the race are former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Assemblymember Michael Blake, attorney Dawn Smalls, City Council Member Eric Ulrich, City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell, Assemblymember Ron Kim, City Council Member Jumaane Williams, City Council Member Rafael Espinal, activist Benjamin Yee, attorney Manny Alicandro, activist Nomiki Konst, Columbia history professor David Eisenbach, former City Council candidate Helal Sheikh, community activist Anthony Herbert, and attorney Jared Rich.

Because there are so many candidates, we did not want to bring you a noisy debate with each candidate only getting a few minutes to talk to the voters.  So, MNN's "Race to Represent" sat down with the candidates*, and over three days interviewed them on their political experience, political ambitions, and their political agendas.  We will bring you these one-on-one interviews with the candidates starting on Wednesday February 20th at 9PM and air them each day until the special election.  Hosted by Gotham Gazette's Ben Max, each candidate shared his or her vision for the office and the city.  You will hear their thoughts on the issues that matter to you. Where do they stand on NYCH, homelessness and the MTA? They will talk candidly about rooting out corruption, investigating city agencies, and standing up to Mayor Bill de Blasio.   



Like all city special elections, this one is non-partisan, meaning none will appear as Democrat or Republican or any other established political party. 

ballot sample


(Left) Sample Ballot for Special Election in upcoming Pubic Advocate vote slated Feb 26.

Whoever wins this February's special election will hold the office through the end of this year.  There will be a party primary in June and a general election in the fall to determine who will permanently fill the office staring in 2020.  

You can also watch to each two minute candidate statement by visiting Race to Represent on MNN's website

MNN's Race to Represent Public Advocate Interviews start airing on Wednesday February 20th, and air each day up until election day.  Tune into MNN1 (Spectrum 34 & 1995, RCN 82, FiOS 33), MNNHD (Spectrum 1993) or MNN's YouTube channel.




*Councilmember Ron Kim could not attend and Helal Sheikh did not respond to interview requests.

Photo Compilation: NYC Public Advocate Candidates
1st Row:  Dawn Smalls, Jumaane Williams, Nomiki Konst, Michael Blake

2nd Row: Melissa Mark-Viverito, Ron Kim, Raphel Espinal, Eric Ulrich

3rd Row:   Daniel O'Donnell, Ben Yee, Jared Rich, Manny Alicandro

4th Row: Ydanis Rodríguez, David Eisenbach, Helal SheIkih, Tony Herbert