Photo Gallery: Upper West Side Candidate Forum

13 professed candidates for public advocate appeared at a forum hosted by the Upper West Side’s Community Free Democrats Thursday night.  Ify Ike, Council Members Ydanis Rodriguez, Jumaane Williams and Rafael Espinal, David Eisenbach, Assembly Members Michael Blake, Danny O’Donnell and Latrice Walker, Theo Chino, Nomiki Konst, Ben Yee, Dawn Smalls and former Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito had several minutes to address the audience and then field audience questions.  Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal moderated the forum.

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Photo Gallery: Ben Franklin Candidate Forum

The Benjamin Franklin Reform Democratic Club brought the rapidly building race for public advocate to the American mainland Wednesday, drawing 12 advocate aspirants to Riverdale for a candidate forum.  Candidates participating were Assembly Members Michael Blake, Latrice Walker and Danny O’Donnell, Dawn Smalls, Theo Chino, Council Members Ydanis Rodriguez Jumaane Williams and Rafael Espinal, Nomiki Konst, former Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Ify Ike and Tony Herbert.

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Photo Gallery: Blake Endorsement Press Conference

Assembly Member Michael Blake held a City Hall Park press conference Wednesday to announce his endorsement by three fellow Assembly members and other political activists.  Assembly Members Rebecca Seawright and Tremaine Wright joined Blake at the press conference to declare their endorsement of Blake.  Blake announced the endorsement of Assembly Member Jeff Aubry, but Aubry did not attend.  Maya Wiley, former counsel to Mayor de Blasio, attended and endorsed Blake.

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Photo Gallery: Mark-Viverito Campaign Kickoff

Former City Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito kicked off her campaign for public advocate with a rally Tuesday night.  About 150 people joined Mark-Viverito at Borough of Manhattan Community College, including Council members Margaret Chin and Diana Ayala, Assembly Member-elect Carmen Cruz and San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz.

Current public advocate Letitia James is expected to resign on or before December 31st so that she can take office as the New York State Attorney General on January 1st, with a special election to fill the vacancy in mid-February.

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Photo Gallery: Reform Party Candidate Forum

The New York State Reform Party held a candidate forum Monday night, drawing ten public advocate hopefuls to Dyker Heights.  Moderated by Reform Party secretary Frank Morano the forum was well-executed, with candidates given several minutes to pitch their candidacy followed by a variety of substantive questions from Morano.  They likely did not sway many voters, however, as the audience (excluding press and campaign staff) barely outnumbered the candidates.

Current public advocate Letitia James is expected to resign on or before December 31st so that she can take office as the New York State Attorney General on January 1st, with a special election to fill the vacancy in mid -February.  Candidates participating were Mike Zumbluskas, David Eisenbach, Tony Herbert, Ify Ike, Nancy Sliwa, Peter Gleason, Diane Signorile, John Tabacco, Nomiki Konst and Daniel Christmann.

The special election will be nonpartisan, with no party designation for candidates.  Parties are nonetheless able to endorse or support a candidate.  Reform Party Chairman Curtis Sliwa, speaking just before the forum, said that the Reform Party will not make any endorsement.  (Note: Sliwa’s wife Nancy Sliwa was among the candidates appearing at the forum.)

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Public Advocate Candidates In Pictures

It’s a challenge to keep track of the multiple candidates running or considering running for public advocate.  To help you do that we’ve set up a photo gallery, a book of faces perhaps, of the 21 candidates known to us.  Our full photo gallery is available here.

Current public advocate Letitia James is expected to resign on or before December 31st so that she can take office as the New York State Attorney General on January 1st.  The City Charter provides that when James resigns the mayor is to, within three days, set the date for a special election.   These prospective candidates will then have a short period to legally become candidates for the vacancy by petitioning their way on to the special election ballot.

Photo Gallery: Public Advocate Candidate Debate

Seven of the many prospective candidates for New York City public advocate gathered for the first debate of the expected campaign.  Current Public Advocate Tish James was elected New York State attorney general on November 6th and she will need to resign before assuming that office on January 1st.  That anticipated vacancy will be filled by a special election.

The debate was sponsored by Citizens Union and AARP NY and hosted by New York Law School.  It was moderated by Ben Max, executive editor of Gotham Gazette, and featured expected candidates Rafael Espinal, Eric Ulrich, Jumaane Williams, Dawn Smalls, Michael Blake, Danny O’Donnell and Nomiki Konst.

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Photo Gallery: Flight #587 Memorial

Mayor Bill de Blasio joined mourners in Rockaway for the 17th anniversary of the crash of American Airlines flight #587.  The crash killed all 260 people on board and five people on the ground.  The flight was headed from JFK to the Dominican Republic and the deceased include many Dominicans and Dominican Americans.

Mayor de Blasio was late to the ceremony in 2014, drawing heated criticism for missing the bell tolling the exact moment of the crash.  This year, as in each year since 2014, he arrived early and greeted mourners ahead of the ceremony.  de Blasio, who did not take press questions, was the only elected official to attend.

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Photo Gallery: Pataki & Molinaro

Former governor George Pataki campaigned with Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro, connecting for an election eve appearance in a Midtown subway station.  Pataki’s 2002 reelection to a third term was the last statewide win by a Republican.  The last time a New York Republican was elected to a first term in a statewide office was 1994, when Pataki was first elected governor and Dennis Vacco was elected to his only term as attorney general.

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Photo Gallery: Bronx GOTV

Bronx Democrats including House candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, state senate candidate Alessandra Biaggi, incumbent NYS Senator Jamaal Bailey and incumbent Assembly Member Nathalia Fernandez held a joint pre-election GOTV rally.  The rally had the air of a business meeting, with volunteers attentively listening to pre-election direction and encouragement.  The audience was especially drawn to Ocasio-Cortez, with candidate doing a lengthy meet and greet after a press Q&A.

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