Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Jumaane D. Williams

Jumaane D. Williams

  • How to Choose a Candidate in the Public Advocate Special Election

    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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  • Last-Minute Guide: How the Public Advocate Candidates Have Tried to Define Themselves

    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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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Public Advocate Candidate Jumaane Williams

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


    February 20, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Public Advocate Candidate Jumaane Williams

    jum will wbai277City Council Member Jumaane Williams joined the show to discuss his candidacy for Public Advocate just days before the February 26 special election.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're

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  • In Second Debate, Public Advocate Candidates Argue Over Amazon, Insult De Blasio & Make Closing Cases

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    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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  • 7 Candidates Qualify for Second Public Advocate Special Election Debate

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    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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  • In First Debate, Public Advocate Candidates Take on De Blasio, Amazon & Each Other

    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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  • 8 Things to Watch in the First Public Advocate Debate

    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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  • 10 Candidates Qualify for First TV Debate in Public Advocate Special Election

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    (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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  • In First Mailer of Public Advocate Race, Kim Targets Amazon, and Prominent Opponents

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    (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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  • Everything You Need to Know About the Special Election for Public Advocate

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    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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  • Declared and Exploring Candidates for New York City Public Advocate

    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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  • Handicapping the Public Advocate Special Election

    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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  • At First Debate, Candidates for Public Advocate Pitch Visions for the Role

    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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  • LISTEN: Public Advocate Candidate Forum - Nov. 14, 2018

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    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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  • Field for Public Advocate Special Election Comes Into Focus

    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 ...

  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Election Day Live Show with Special Guests

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


    November 6, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Election Day Live Show with Special Guests

    jumm williams 2On Election Day 2018 Max & Murphy held a special live-audience edition of their show, broadcast on WBAI from Commons Cafe in Brooklyn, 5-7 p.m. as New Yorkers continued to go to the polls and/or await election returns.

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  • Post-Primary Campaign Finance Filings Show Cuomo’s Already Spent $28 Million

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    Photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat running for reelection to a third term, successfully claimed the Democratic Party nomination earlier this month after a bitter primary battle against actor and education activist Cynthia Nixon. But the victory came at significant cost as Cuomo spent more than $20 million this year alone, nearly ten times what Nixon spent in total as she attempted to unseat him.

    Cuomo, who won with 64.4 percent of the vote to Nixon’s 34.4 percent in the September 13 primary, is headed into the

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  • A Closer Look at Democratic Primary Turnout, Margins and Geography

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    Gov. Cuomo voting in Thursday's primary (photo: @NYGovCuomo)


    The Democratic gubernatorial primary between Governor Andrew Cuomo and Cynthia Nixon saw a significant surge in voter participation, but turnout still stood at only 27 percent of active registered Democrats.

    Compared to the 2014 primary election, when Zephyr Teachout challenged Cuomo, who was then seeking a second term, turnout more than doubled, according to preliminary numbers. And, turnout spiked slightly more in New York City than elsewhere. Specifically, 28 percent of registered

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  • 2018 New York State Primary Results: Cuomo, Hochul, James Prevail While Senate Upsets Abound

    cuomo james hochul

    (photo: @andrewcuomo)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo won the Democratic nomination by a wide margin Thursday, with his running-mate Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul surviving a much closer race, Public Advocate Letitia James prevailing comfortably in a crowded Attorney General primary, and more than half a dozen upsets of sitting state Senators, including six of the eight former members of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC).

    Additionally, voter turnout was significantly higher than 2014, the last gubernatorial election year, perhaps owing to the

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  • Cuomo and Hochul Win Primaries, Again Form Democratic General Election Ticket

    cuomo primary podium

    Gov. Cuomo (photo: @andrewcuomo)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, won his party’s nomination for a third term on Thursday, after a bruising primary battle against actor and education activist Cynthia Nixon, who challenged him from his left. Cuomo won with about 65 percent of the vote against Nixon’s 35 percent. Joining Cuomo on the Democratic ticket is Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who won the party nomination over her own primary challenger, New York City Council Member Jumaane Williams. Hochul received 53 percent against Williams’ 47

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  • Get Ready to Vote in the Hochul-Williams Lieutenant Governor Primary

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    Jumanne Williams, left, & Kathy Hochul (photos: @JumaaneWilliams & @KathyHochul)


    New York City Council Member Jumaane Williams in January announced that he was running for lieutenant governor, posing a Democratic primary challenge to Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. While doing so, Williams took aim at both Hochul and her partner in government and running-mate, Governor Andrew Cuomo. Williams criticized from the left Cuomo’s policies and management, while saying that Hochul has done little to hold the governor accountable, and promised to if

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Final Days of the Lieutenant Governor Primary

    mxm logo

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


    September 5, 2018 - Final Days of the Lieutenant Governor Primary between Kathy Hochul & Jumaane Williams

    podcast hocul williams 277Just eight days before their Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor will (most likely) be decided by voters, incumbent Kathy Hochul and challenger Jumaane Williams joined the show

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  • Statewide Candidates File Final Pre-Primary Campaign Finance Disclosures

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    (Photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    The primary election is next Thursday, September 13, and candidates for statewide office filed another round of campaign spending and fundraising reports this week, the final disclosures due before primary day.

    Governor Andrew Cuomo, a two-term Democrat, has been, for the most part, publicly nonchalant about his primary challenger, actor and activist Cynthia Nixon. But his campaign finance filings show he is spending far more to beat back her insurgent bid than he did four years ago,

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  • WATCH: Lieutenant Governor Democratic Primary Debate Between Kathy Hochul and Jumaane Williams

    race to represent 2018 kathy hochul v jumaane williams democratic lt governor primary debate

    Jumaane Williams and Kathy Hochul (Photo: MNN)


    Watch the Lieutenant Governor Democratic primary debate between incumbent Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and her challenger, City Council Member Jumaane Williams. The debate was hosted by Manhattan Neighborhood Network and moderated by Gotham Gazette editor Ben Max ahead of the September 13 primary vote.

  • Hochul Asserts Previously Unmentioned Role in Anti-Sexual Harassment Laws

    Kathy Hochul

    Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul (photo: The Governor's Office)


    Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday said she was “very much involved” in the recently signed laws aimed at combating sexual harassment in the workplace — a claim that comes in stark contrast to all prior indications that the legislation had been determined exclusively by four elected men and no elected women.

    “I was used as a resource, as someone who has lived this experience personally, which is why I’m so passionate about standing up for women,” Hochul said while debating her Democratic primary

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