FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM JANUARY 3, 2019 • THE QUEENS COURIER 11
Wide-open special election for public advocate set for February
BY CARLOTTA MOHAMED
More than two dozen candidates have
either declared or are exploring a run
for the Offi ce of Public Advocate in the
upcoming citywide special election next
Attorney General-elect Letitia James
stepped down as public advocate on
Jan. 1 upon her inauguration to her new
offi ce. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced
on Saturday that the special election will
take place on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019.
“Th is date will help maximize voter
turnout, and my administration will
work around the clock to make sure
every New Yorker is encouraged to exercise
Sign up for low or no-cost
health insurance today!
Get free in-person enrollment assistance in your language.
Open Enrollment in New York continues through January 31.
Text CoveredNYC to 877877
their right to vote,” said de Blasio.
Th e special election will be nonpartisan
followed by a partisan primary for
another general election for the offi ce in
November. Each candidate must secure
their own ballot lines by petition; parties
may endorse a candidate, but they may
not off er nominees.
Th e public advocate is the fi rst in line
to succeed the mayor and is the second
highest ranking elected offi ce in
the city, according to advocate.nyc.gov.
Th e offi ce serves as a direct link between
New Yorkers and their government,
acts as a “watchdog” over city agencies,
and investigates complaints about
city services. Th e public advocate is a
non-voting member of the New York
City Council with the right to introduce
and co-sponsor legislation.
While the offi ce is vacant, City Council
Speaker Corey Johnson will oversee operations
at the Public Advocate’s offi ce.
Among the list of public advocate candidates,
there are two Queens lawmakers
who are vying for the seat: Democratic
Assemblyman Ron Kim from Flushing
and Republican City Councilman
Eric Ulrich of Ozone Park, both of
whom announced their candidacies in
Kim’s campaign, People over
Corporations, vows to transform the
Offi ce of Public Advocate.
As a public advocate, Ulrich, the only
Republican in the fi eld who represents
the 32nd District, wants to cut property
taxes, create more jobs and provide quality
education to all children, according to
his campaign letter.
Other candidates who are either
declared or exploring a run for offi ce
include city council members, advocates,
state assembly members, and others in
the list below:
• State Assemblyman Michael Blake –
who represents parts of the Bronx
• City Councilmembers Rafael Espinal
and Jumaane Williams – who represent
parts of Brooklyn
• City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez –
who represents parts of Manhattan
• Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell –
who represents parts of Manhattan
• Assemblymember Latrice Walker –
who represents parts of Brooklyn
• Melissa Mark-Viverito – former speaker
of the City Council
• Non-lawmakers include:
• Nomiki Kurst – Journalist
• David Eisenbach – Columbia
• Dawn Smalls – A lawyer who previously
worked in the Obama and Clinton
• Th eo B. Chino – Entrepreneur, systems
• Ifeoma Ike – Political activist
• Gwen Goodwin – Community activist
and past city council candidate
• Tony Herbert – Community activist
and past candidate for public advocate
• Benjamin Yee – Business owner, member
of the Democratic state committee,
and secretary for the Manhattan
• Mike Zumbluskas – Former Chairman
of the Manhattan Independence Party
• Walter Iwachiw – Republican candidate
for various offi ces such as
mayor, state Assembly, CUNY Student
Th e winner of the Feb. 26 special election
is only guaranteed to serve as public
advocate for the remainder of the calendar
year. New Yorkers will vote in
November for a public advocate to serve
the remainder of James’ term, which
expires in 2021.
If you’re not registered to vote, visit the
New York City Board of Elections website
and sign up.
File photo/THE COURIER
Letitia James resigned as the city’s public advocate
on Jan. 1 as she was sworn in as New York
State’s new attorney general. Now, the race is
on to fi nd out who will succeed her.