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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.