Al Sharpton, who clashed endlessly with the Giuliani administration, doesn’t sound thrilled with Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s decision to re-appoint Mr. Giuliani’s police commissioner as the city’s top cop.
In a statement released this morning just as news of Bill Bratton’s appointment was trickling out, Mr. Sharpton, who has had a warm relationship with Mr. de Blasio, offered a mixed assessment of Mr. Bratton’s record, which includes stints as chief of both the Boston and Los Angeles police departments.
The City Council’s black, Latino and Asian caucus is pushing back against the assertion by some observers that members are more open to considering a white candidate for council speaker because a black candidate was elected to citywide office earlier this year.
In their first public statement of the behind-the-scenes campaign, the caucus members argued that Brooklyn Councilwoman Letitia James’s election as public advocate should have no bearing on the contest to choose the city’s second most powerful post.
Public Advocate-elect Letitia James said this month’s elections represented a “dramatic left turn” for the city–and vowed to hold her predecessor in the advocate’s office, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, accountable in his new role.
Dishing on Tish
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.
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.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has ducked a potentially divisive primary runoff in the mayor’s race, but the candidates vying to replace him have no such luck.
As their one-on-one face-off heats up, Councilwoman Tish James and State Senator Daniel Squadron are racking up endorsements as they work to secure enough support to reach the 50 percent they’ll need when voters head back to the polls on October 1.
It’s the position first in line to succeed the mayor, but the vast majority of voters have no idea who’s running.
Only 20 percent of likely Democratic primary voters were able to correctly name a single candidate running to be the city’s next public advocate, according to the latest Quinnipiac poll. And of the few who said they could name a candidate, seven percent named someone who’s not actually in the running.
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke is throwing her support behind City Councilwoman Tish James’s bid for public advocate.
“Once in a long while, a special leader comes along who has an uncanny ability to empathize with the plight of everyday people and the courage to fight for them. Councilwoman Letitia James is that leader,” said Ms. Clarke, who represents Brooklyn, in a glowing statement.
The race for public advocate continued to heat up today, with Councilwoman Tish James releasing a blistering “fact check” email against rival State Senator Dan Squadron for his new “results”-themed campaign commercial.
The Squadron ad, released yesterday, features a glowing endorsement from Senator Chuck Schumer, including a reference to his leadership on gun control issues. The James camp, needless to say, disagreed with the assessment.