Jenifer Rajkumar, a Democratic district leader and attorney who lost a heated primary challenge this year against Councilwoman Margaret Chin, has registered a campaign committee to run for the seat held by State Senator Daniel Squadron.
Mr. Squadron has been the subject of rumors that he’s in line for a job in Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s administration next year, which would hypothetically leave his seat open for the taking.
Exit Stage Right
Brooklyn City Councilwoman Letitia James claimed victory tonight in the public advocate’s runoff, delivering an emotional and defiant speech after handily beating her Democratic opponent, State Senator Daniel Squadron.
State Senator Daniel Squadron tonight conceded to his rival in the public advocate’s runoff, Councilwoman Tish James, ending a race that had grown bitter in its final days.
“This campaign was really about making the public advocate’s office a more effective force for those folks who most need it,” Mr. Squadron declared at his election-night party on the Lower East Side.
New York City’s next public advocate will be Tish James, according to NY1 and the Associated Press, which just called the Democratic runoff tonight.
Ms. James, a Brooklyn councilwoman, is facing off against State Senator Daniel Squadron and currently holds a wide, 19-point percentage of the vote, with 83 percent of precincts reporting.
Dishing on Tish
At one of her final campaign stops of the public advocate’s race, Councilwoman Tish James repeatedly downplayed the historical nature of her candidacy.
If Ms. James triumphs in the runoff today, she will become the first black woman elected to citywide office. Throughout her campaign her supporters have both celebrated that fact and noted that her opponent, State Senator Daniel Squadron, would be the third white male on the Democrats’s citywide ticket if he wins. But Ms. James insisted this afternoon that history was not on her mind.
In the days leading up to today’s runoff election, the public advocate’s race reached its final, frenzied–and personal–pitch.
Included in the barrage was a pair of mailers sent over the weekend alleging City Councilwoman Tish James, who is in a runoff against State Senator Daniel Squadron, obtained a “sweetheart” loan on her Brooklyn home, which has come under scrutiny in the past.
After Daniel Squadron cast his vote in the public advocate’s runoff this morning, the state senator predicted a “surge” of fellow New Yorkers would do the same, resulting in victory later tonight.
“We’re feeling great!” Mr. Squadron told Politicker as he walked out of his Cobble Hill polling site with his wife, Liz, and their two-year-old son, Theodore.
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.
Senator Chuck Schumer, who once was confident Washington Republicans would “blink” and avert a government shutdown, isn’t so confident anymore.
“I’m worried,” Mr. Schumer told Politicker at a Brooklyn street festival earlier this evening.
Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito is calling for a time-out in the public advocate’s race, which has grown increasingly hostile ahead of next Tuesaday’s Democratic primary runoff.
Ms. Mark-Viverito, a supporter of Brooklyn Councilwoman Letitia James, recorded a video criticizing Ms. James’s rival, State Senator Daniel Squadron, for waging new “heights of personal and petty attacks” against her candidacy.