The Public Advocate Race

The Public Advocate Race
The Public Advocate Race. Picture Credit: Gotham Gazette

By Robert Press

Twenty-three people gave in petitions to run in the special election to replace Letitia James as New York Cities next Public Advocate. Former Public Advocate James became the New New York State Attorney General, and resigned as NYC Public Advocate at the beginning if the new year. Mayor Bill de Blasio then called for a special election for February 26th, and the election process began. 

According to NYC Election Law, the names of the candidates are placed on the ballot in order of when they handed in their petitions. The twenty-three candidates are the following as they will appear on the ballot. It should be noted that challenges have been made to several candidates petitions, and the Board of Elections and the courts will have to determine if any petition is to be determined invalid and remove said candidate.

1) Melissa Mark-Viverito - Former speaker, New York City Council.

2) Michael Blake - New York State Assembly member.

3) Dawn Smalls - Attorney 

4) Eric Ulrich - New York City Council member.

5) Daniel O'Donnell - New York State Assembly member.

6) Latrice Walker - New York State Assembly member.

7) Rafael Espinal - New York City Council member.

8) Jumaane Williams - New York City Council member.

9) Ron Kim - New York State Assembly member.

10) Ydanis Rodriguez - New York City Council member.

11) Danniel S. Maio - Former congressional candidate.

12) Gary Popkin - Retired professor. 

13) Benjamin Yee - Activist

14) Ifeoma Ike - Activist

15) Manny Alicandro - Attorney

16) Michael Zumbluskas - Reform Party leader

17) David Eisenbach - History professor 

18) Nomiki Konst - Activist

19) Jared Rich - Attorney

20) Anthony Herbert - Activist

21) Walter Iwachiw - Activist

22) Theo Chino - Entrepreneur

23) Helal Sheikh - Past City Council candidate

Forums and debates have been going on all over the city, with two debates one on February 6th (all candidates), and 0n February 20th those who have made the NYC Campaign Finance minimum requirements for matching public funds on Cable channel New York One. 

More on this special election as the date draws closer.