An election with 17 candidates, after 31 aspirants expressed interest and campaigned, and a comparatively short three months of campaigning. Triggered by Tish James’s November election as New York State attorney general and resulting resignation as public advocate, the public advocate special election was, for New York, a unique electoral experience. Held with an unprecedented number of candidates and the absence of established party designations or nominations it was New York City’s first citywide special election. Candidate forums were the predominant public campaign activity, with several dozen held around the city by a wide range of civic and political groups. Our gallery has moments from the start to finish – take a look.
Our full public advocate special election photo retrospective gallery is available here.
We have a gallery of group portraits from many of the candidate forums here.
We have a gallery with photos of candidates with family members here.
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.)
Our full photo gallery is available here.
“I think it’s time for you to go to the pasture.” Mayoral candidate Bo Dietl was dismissive of rival mayoral candidate Sal Albanese and Albanese’s victory in Tuesday’s Reform Party primary, suggesting he should end his candidacy. Albanese was the only candidate listed on the Reform Party ballot, but Dietl and Republican/Conservative candidate Nicole Malliotakis mounted write-in campaigns seeking to take the Reform Party Nomination from the party’s designated candidate. In preliminary election night results Albanese received 57% of the votes cast, with total write in votes of 43% insufficient to give Dietl or Malliotakis a chance of winning.
In addition to deriding Albanese’s 57% showing in a race in which he was the only candidate on the ballot, Dietl also accused Albanese of colluding with Bill de Blasio to help de Blasio receive primary election matching funds from the Campaign Finance Board. (The CFB awarded matching funds to de Blasio on a finding that Albanese’s Democratic primary candidacy met the legal threshold of significant competition.)
Albanese’s Reform Party candidacy is an unwelcome complication for Dietl and Malliotakis, adding a third anti-de Blasio candidate who may draw press and voter attention away from their respective campaigns. They’re already fighting for the same base, as evidenced by this Dietl visit to a senior center in Malliotakis’ assembly district. That base is not nearly large enough to power a single candidate to victory, and split between Dietl and Malliotakis it leaves both with little ability to pose a real challenge to Mayor de Blasio. Albanese’s presence further muddles their efforts at establishing themselves as the primary de Blasio opponent, and Dietl’s comments reflect an understanding of that challenge.
Dietl was harshly dismissive of Albanese’s debate performance against Mayor de Blasio, when Dietl and Albanese crossed paths at a Queens candidate forum.
Mayoral candidate Bo Dietl cast his first campaign vote this morning, writing in his name in the Reform Party mayoral primary. Sal Albanese is the only candidate whose name appears on the Reform Party ballot, but Dietl and rival candidate Nicole Malliotakis are each mounting write-in campaigns aimed at wresting the Reform Party line from the Party leadership’s chosen candidate. They’re able to do so because “opportunity to ballot” petitions were filed with the Board of Elections, creating the write-in spot on the ballot and opening the party primary to registered voters who are not in any party. (A Gotham Gazette background report is available here.) Continue reading Dietl Votes, Reform Party Edition →
The Reform Party hosted a mayoral candidate forum Tuesday, with six candidates appearing and seeking the 2017 Reform Party nomination for New York City mayor. The participating candidates included Democrats Sal Albanese, Michael Tolkin and Kevin Coenen, Republicans Michel Faulkner and Rocky De La Fuente and currently man-without-a-party-but-hoping-to-run-as-a-Republican Bo Dietl. All expressed a desire to run on the Reform Party line in addition to that of their respective party.
The Reform Party was created in 2014 by Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino as the “Stop Common Core” ballot line. Winning more than 50,000 votes in that election brought a four year ballot existence for the party, which changed its name to the Reform Party. Astorino and his allies lost control of the party, however, with Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa taking control. (There’s a separate and unaffiliated Reform Party that is part of the national Reform Party of the United States.) According to Sliwa, the Reform Party’s 18 committee members will select the party’s mayoral nominee, likely in late April or May.
Video – Here are the six candidates giving short introductions:
Update – Photo Gallery:
Our forum photo gallery is available here.
John Catsimatidis is not yet a 2017 mayoral candidate, having neither formally declared himself to be one nor having created a campaign account with the NYC Campaign Finance Board, but he’s acting like one with frequent political appearances. Among his recent political appearances was a brief speech to kick-off a Reform Party mayoral candidate forum held last Tuesday.
Catsimatidis, who finished second to Joe Lhota in the 2013 mayoral primary, played a mixed role of potential candidate and elder statesman. He praised the six candidates seated in front of him for engaging in politics while criticizing “professional politicians” who “glom.” Catsimatidis, a prolific contributor to politicians, also spoke critically of political pay to play. He closed with a pep talk to the six candidates and possible Catsimatidis rivals, only one of whom has held elective office.
Here’s what Catsimatidis had to say:
Update – Photo Gallery:
Our forum photo gallery is available here.