Last time Reshma Saujani ran for office, it didn’t go so well. The former deputy public advocate and Girls Who Code founder spent more per vote than billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg, but finished with just 19 percent in her 2010 primary challenge against Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.
And even today, she continues to face flak for taking on a popular incumbent, which was painted most recently by one of her opponents as an anti-feminist move.
But Ms. Saujani, 37, said this time around, as she campaigns for public advocate, it’s a very different story.
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.
Just like several of the leading mayoral contenders, public advocate candidate Reshma Saujani has a new policy book.
Ms. Saujani’s booklet, released today, is similar in format to those released by Gracie Mansion hopefuls Anthony Weiner and Christine Quinn and lists initiatives on a handful of major topics, including jobs, education housing and government reform.
That was quick.
Shortly after ads appeared today urging New Yorkers to “Combat Domestic Violence” by giving contributions to Reshma Saujani’s campaign for public advocate, the order was given to take them down.
The web ads, which ask for $10 contributions “to help Reshma advocate for victims of domestic violence,” raised eyebrows across the internet, with one Twitter user calling them “the tackiest ad of the campaign cycle.”
Parts of southeastern Queens may have bucked the county’s Democratic establishment in various races this year, but in the contest for public advocate, at least some local officials are falling into line.
In an announcement involving a whole host of pols, Congressman Gregory Meeks and Assemblyman William Scarborough, both legislators hailing from the borough’s predominately black neighborhoods, endorsed Girls Who Code Founder Reshma Saujani as their pick to replace outgoing Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.
In a showing that left many political insiders scratching their heads, popular City Councilwoman Letitia James and newcomer Catherine Guerriero are neck-and-neck in the race for public advocate, according to the first formal poll of the the one competitive citywide race besides mayor.
According to the Wall Street Journal/NBC New York/Marist survey released last night, Ms. James, a Brooklyn councilwoman, is leading with 17 percent of the Democratic vote, statistically tied with Ms. Guerriero, a professor, with 16 percent.
on the attack
There’s only one competitive citywide contest besides the mayor’s race this year, and Councilwoman Tish James is doing her best to make sure a few sparks fly as she jockeys for the public advocate’s office.
One day after taking a dig at a rival for being too cozy with Wall Street at a candidates’ forum, Ms. James went on the attack again last night, characterizing her two chief opponents as out-of-touch with the working class.
As candidates for public office wind their way through various organizations’ endorsement screenings, they are often requested to fill out questionnaires detailing their specific stands on a given group’s most important issues.
However, one Democratic club, New Kings Democrats, recently took things a bit further and presented candidates with surveys designed to showcase their creativity and wit, including questions on which actor or actress would play them in a movie and what items they’d want if stranded on a desert island.
Here are some of our favorite answers, courtesy of the New Kings Democrats and the candidates for public advocate:
Reshma Saujani’s campaign for public advocate is getting a boost from Silicon Valley, with contributions from some of high-tech’s biggest names.
Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is among the contributors who will appear in filings the campaign expects to file today with the city’s Campaign Finance Board. Grammy-award winner John Legend also chipped in.
It’s not a surprise, but it’s a key part of Reshma Saujani’s strategy as she campaigns for public advocate this year.
The Alliance of South Asian-American Labor, a group that’s worked to mobilize South Asian voters in past elections, officially threw their support to Ms. Saujani today, vowing to help elect her as the city’s first official of South Asian descent.