Exit Stage Right
State Senator Daniel Squadron tonight conceded to his rival in the public advocate’s runoff, Councilwoman Tish James, ending a race that had grown bitter in its final days.
“This campaign was really about making the public advocate’s office a more effective force for those folks who most need it,” Mr. Squadron declared at his election-night party on the Lower East Side.
At one of her final campaign stops of the public advocate’s race, Councilwoman Tish James repeatedly downplayed the historical nature of her candidacy.
If Ms. James triumphs in the runoff today, she will become the first black woman elected to citywide office. Throughout her campaign her supporters have both celebrated that fact and noted that her opponent, State Senator Daniel Squadron, would be the third white male on the Democrats’ citywide ticket if he wins. But Ms. James insisted this afternoon that history was not on her mind.
After Daniel Squadron cast his vote in the public advocate’s runoff this morning, the state senator predicted a “surge” of fellow New Yorkers would do the same, resulting in victory later tonight.
“We’re feeling great!” Mr. Squadron told Politicker as he walked out of his Cobble Hill polling site with his wife, Liz, and their two-year-old son, Theodore.
In today’s runoff election for public advocate, The New York Observer reiterates our endorsement of State Senator Daniel Squadron, who has been a voice for small business development, more-reliable public transportation and more parks, especially on the East River waterfront.
State Senator Daniel Squadron would not deny tonight that his campaign was behind a controversial robocall attacking his rival in the public advocate’s race, Councilwoman Tish James.
Senator Chuck Schumer, who once was confident Washington Republicans would “blink” and avert a government shutdown, isn’t so confident anymore.
“I’m worried,” Mr. Schumer told Politicker at a Brooklyn street festival earlier this evening.
Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito is calling for a time-out in the public advocate’s race, which has grown increasingly hostile ahead of next Tuesaday’s Democratic primary runoff.
Ms. Mark-Viverito, a supporter of Brooklyn Councilwoman Letitia James, recorded a video criticizing Ms. James’s rival, State Senator Daniel Squadron, for waging new “heights of personal and petty attacks” against her candidacy.
There have been three public advocates in the short history of the office: Mark Green, Betsy Gotbaum and Bill de Blasio. All three used the office’s powers to scratch out a presence in city government, enabling two of them, Mr. Green and Mr. de Blasio, to become serious contenders for the city’s top job. Mr. Green didn’t quite get there; Mr. de Blasio still might.
So the public advocate is an important position, even if it has few responsibilities and a paltry budget of slightly more than $2 million per year. We think State Senator Daniel Squadron is the best-qualified Democrat seeking nomination for the office.
As Seen on TV
State Senator Daniel Squadron is flexing his fund-raising advantage in the public advocate’s race by making “a high six-figure buy, very high” for cable and broadcast commercials, according to a Democratic source.
The source further labeled it a “down payment” and “just the first round” of purchases for the final week before the election, suggesting there will be more.
The abandoned banana warehouse on Pier 42 isn’t going anywhere in the coming months, nor is the parking lot stretching out in front of it, but New Yorkers will be able to get a little closer to the East River starting May 4. A piece of Pier 42—about a third of the total footprint—will be open to the public for the first time ever.
The Lower East Side pier and its decaying banana warehouse are slated for better, greener things—namely, a $16 million makeover whose appearance has yet to be decided by the public and Mathews Nielson landscape architects.
But State Senator Daniel Squadron and U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, who secured the funding for the redevelopment, have described the future park as being the missing section needed to create “a continuous green ribbon around Lower Manhattan, connecting the East and West Sides and providing the Lower East Side and Chinatown communities with much-needed open space.”