Public Advocate-elect Letitia James said this month’s elections represented a
“dramatic left turn” for the city–and vowed to hold her predecessor in the advocate’s office, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, accountable in his new role.
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.
Election Day: 2013apalooza
With the mayoral and comptroller candidates chosen, only one Democratic primary contest remains to be settled: the race to become the city’s next public advocate.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio–a once obscure public official with a name few at first could pronounce–declared victory tonight, and now stands on the cusp of winning the Democratic nomination for mayor without a runoff.
The latest returns put Mr. de Blasio at slightly over 40 percent of the vote–a feat once deemed all-but-impossible in a crowded field of five candidates.
Although he stood next to speakers claiming the opposite, Bill de Blasio insists his position has not changed on the city’s controversial regulation of a ritual circumcision practice.
At a gigantic get-out-the vote rally in Williamsburg’s Hasidic community last night, where leaders vowed to deliver 10,000 votes for his front-running mayoral campaign, two community leaders declared that Mr. de Blasio was set to eliminate the consent forms required for metzitzah b’peh, a practice involving a mohel sucking blood from the wound, which the city’s health department says can spread disease.
Far ahead in the polls as Tuesday’s Democratic mayoral primary looms, Bill de Blasio amassed the troops today for a gigantic get-out-the-vote rally.
At times, it felt like a victory party for the city’s public advocate, who once trailed his opponents but is now reveling in his new front-runner status.
“This campaign, like every good cause, started humbly and we worked really, really hard,” Mr. de Blasio reflected, standing on the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall. “I give people in this crowd a lot of credit. There were many days when the polls weren’t so great, when you couldn’t get our message across; we’d put out a press release, no one printed it. We’ve had those days.”
They may be trying to defeat him in the polls, but Bill de Blasio’s mayoral opponents have his back on this one.
Christine Quinn, Bill Thompson and John Liu all criticized Mayor Michael Bloomberg for labeling Mr. de Blasio’s campaign “racist” because it prominently features his mixed-race family, according to a New York magazine interview published this morning.
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.
It’s good to be back home, or at least in your former City Council district.
Bill de Blasio took his mayoral campaign down a busy business strip in the heart of Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community this afternoon, where he was warmly received as he hugged babies, schmoozed with voters and listened to the concerns of small business owners.
And along the way, he frequently pointed out that he used to represent a sizable slice of the Boro Park neighborhood before he was elected public advocate in 2009.