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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union
 

Michael Blake

Michael Blake

  • voting new york city

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    For weeks, intensifying ahead of Tuesday, friends, family, acquaintances, and colleagues have been asking for advice about who to vote for in the special election for Public Advocate. My response usually starts with a question: What do you most want in a Public Advocate?

    Sometimes that’s followed by another: How much time do you have? There are 17 candidates who will be on Tuesday’s ballot, each with certain qualities, qualifications, and visions for the office. The Public Advocate has wide

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  • public advocate new york city

    (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    New York City’s special election for Public Advocate will take place this Tuesday, February 26, and there will be 17 candidates on the ballot, although one has suspended her campaign. Ten of these candidates qualified for the first official televised debate, then seven of those ten qualified for the second debate. Those candidates and others in the race have also been appearing at many local forums, making the rounds on television and radio, and taking part in other aspects of campaigning as

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  • poolnytdebate 002

    Candidates at debate #1 (photo: Holly Pickett for The New York Times (pool))


    While there were disagreements over the Amazon deal that fell apart and contentious exchanges over their records, the seven candidates for public advocate who debated Wednesday night agreed on a lot, including that Mayor Bill de Blasio should not run for president and instead focus on major challenges in New York City.

    With less than a week until the Tuesday, February 26 special election vote, seven of the 17 candidates who will be on the ballot took the stage at Borough of

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  • Public Advocate debate 10 candidates

    The first debate (photo: Holly Pickett for The New York Times (pool))


    Seven candidates running in the special election for New York City Public Advocate have qualified for the second and final official televised debate, which will take place Wednesday night, just six days ahead of the February 26 election.

    There will be 17 candidates on the ballot, 10 of whom qualified for the first televised debate. Now, for the “leading contenders” debate, seven candidates met the threshold set by city law, which includes raising

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  • Public Advocate debate Feb 6 2019

    photo: Holly Pickett for The New York Times (pool)

    (l-r) Danny O'Donnell, Jumaane Williams Michael Blake, Rafael Espinal, Erich Ulrich, Ron Kim, Ydanis Rodriguez, Dawn Smalls, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Nomiki Konst


    With 10 candidates on stage and less than three weeks until election day, there were some sharp elbows at the first of two televised debates Wednesday night in the race to be the city’s next Public Advocate. The citywide special election is February 26.

    The candidates, including eight current or former

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  • public advocate candidates


    The biggest moment so far in the short, crowded, and contentious race to become the next New York City Public Advocate will be Wednesday night, as 10 qualifying candidates take the stage for the first of two televised debates.

    The citywide special election has attracted a wide and deep field of candidates -- there will be 17 names on the February 26 ballot -- including several sitting elected officials, each hoping to become the city’s watchdog and ombudsperson, one of just three citywide elected officials and next in line to the mayor. The

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  • 12 pub advjan

    (l-r) Melissa Mark-viverito, Ydanis Rodriguez, Dawn Smalls, Jumaane Williams Rafael Espinal; Danny O'Donnell, Michael Blake, Erich Ulrich, Nomiki Konst, Ron Kim


    Update: This article and its headline have been updated to clarify that 10, not 11, candidates officially qualified for the first televised debate of the race. The original version of this article included Assemblymember Latrice Walker, who appeared to have crossed the financial threshold but was ruled not to have by the Campaign Finance Board after its review of her filings.

    It’s

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  • mxm logo

    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    January 16, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Public Advocate Candidate Michael Blake

    michael blake 277pxMichael Blake is a member of the state Assembly from the Bronx and a candidate in the special election to become the next New York City Public Advocate, which will take place February 26. Blake, who worked in the Obama

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  • box kim mail1600

    (portion of Ron Kim mailer)


    Assemblymember Ron Kim, a candidate for New York City Public Advocate, sent out the first mailed advertisement of his campaign this week, touting his early opposition to the deal between Amazon and New York, and contrasting it with other leading candidates in the race.

    The advertisement appears to be the first mailer of the race, a sprint to the February 26 special election to fill now-Attorney General Letitia James’ former seat. Notably, it jabs at four perceived frontrunners, highlighting their signatures on an October 2017

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  • ballot tish

    Tish James voting (photo via Gotham Gazette)


    Updated as of January 29.

    In February, New Yorkers will have the opportunity to cast a ballot for a new public advocate in the first-ever special election for a citywide office. The current vacancy was created when the most recent officeholder, Letitia James, was officially sworn in as the state’s attorney general, a position she won in the November general election.

    The public advocate is the people’s representative, a watchdog and ombudsperson, with a post that has little direct influence over city

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  • 10 candidates

    (l-r) Tish James, Ydanis Rodriguez, Melissa Mark-viverito, Jumaane Williams, Latrice Walker
    Rafael Espinal, Danny O'Donnell, Michael Blake, Erich Ulrich, Ron Kim


    There are roughly two dozen candidates who have officially declared or indicated they are exploring a run in the February special election for New York City Public Advocate, which will take place Tuesday, February 26.

    Attorney General-elect Letitia James officially vacates the office of New York City Public Advocate on January 1, setting off the next steps of the process, whereby Mayor Bill de

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  • Jumaane Williams Melissa Mark-Viverito

    Jumaane Williams & Melissa Mark-Viverito (photo: William Alatriste)


    New Yorkers who think they are done with elections until 2020 will be in for a rude awakening when Mayor Bill de Blasio calls a special election to fill the vacancy of the Public Advocate position. The position’s current occupant, Letitia James, was elected in November to become New York State Attorney General, and will switch posts at the beginning of January. In all likelihood, New York City voters will head to the polls again at the end of February. With so

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  • The candidates, moderator and hosts

    The candidates, moderator and hosts (photo via Gotham Gazette)


    New York City Public Advocate Letitia James’ victory in the race for state attorney general has kicked off what will be roughly three months of jostling by candidates running to replace her. While James won’t be sworn in until January and the nonpartisan special election for her seat won’t be held till February, several candidates have already declared their interest in the seat and, on Wednesday evening, seven of them shared a stage at New York Law School, staking out their

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  • pa forum aarp afterward

    The candidates, moderator and hosts (photo via Gotham Gazette)


    With Public Advocate Letitia James' victory to become the next New York State Attorney General, she will vacate her current position on January 1 and there will be a special election to fill it sometime in February, once the Mayor decides on the exact date within a limited window he has to call it. In the days before and after Election Day 2018, candidates for Public Advocate have announced their intentions to run, or at least explore it, in some cases. Seven of those candidates participated in a

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  • Rafael Espinal

    Council Member Rafael Espinal (photo: William Alatriste)


    Letitia James’ win in the race to become the next New York Attorney General means there will be a special election early in 2019 to name New York City’s next Public Advocate. The candidates for what will be a roughly three-month race were just beginning to become clear when news broke of planned City Council legislation calling for the position of public advocate to be abolished, as ...

  • michael blake pub adv city

    Michael Blake (photo via Blake campaign)


    Michael Blake wants to bring his experience in federal and state government to city government as the next Public Advocate of New York City. Currently a member of the state Assembly from the Bronx, Blake worked in the administration of President Barack Obama before he became a political consultant and successfully ran for Assembly, defeating the chosen candidate of the political machine in his home borough thanks to a variety of factors, including his national network and fundraising prowess.

    With the

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  • Quinn Mark-Viverito

    Christine Quinn, center, & Melissa Mark-Viverito (photo: City Council on flickr)


    The September primary election is just over one week away and if New York City Public Advocate Letitia James wins the Democratic nomination for attorney general over her three primary opponents, she will be a significant favorite to win the position in November owing in large part to the state’s Democrat-heavy electorate. No Republican has won statewide since Governor George Pataki captured a third term in 2002; it’s been far longer for a Republican attorney general.

    James

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  • Bronx jail site NYPD tow pound

    Planned Bronx jail site (photos: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    When Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson announced last week that they’d reached a deal to speed up the closure of Rikers Island by creating or expanding jail facilities in every borough except Staten Island, it seemed to be a clear sign of a productive partnership between the administration and local elected officials.

    The mayor and speaker made the announcement at a news conference at City Hall, alongside four Council members -- Diana Ayala, Karen

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    With both the Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention now over, the presidential race hits the final three-month stretch to Election Day, November 8. The first debate in scheduled for September 26. While New York was front-and-center at both conventions because the two presidential candidates call the state home, a great deal of attention will now shift to the most consequential swing states,

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  • Cuomo Schneiderman presser

    At the special prosecutor announcement (photo: Governor's Office via flickr)


    Gov. Andrew Cuomo was beaming. Touting the historical significance of the executive order he had just signed to give Attorney General Eric Schneiderman the authority to act as a special prosecutor in cases where police kill unarmed civilians, Cuomo smiled for photos. Often rivals, Cuomo and Schneiderman, who

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