With less than a week to go before the runoff election in the public advocate’s race, 1199 SEIU is dropping $150,000 on radio ads in support of Councilwoman Tish James.
The sizable purchase comes as the healthcare workers’ union, the largest in the city, looks to play an outsized role in the Democratic primary after successfully backing Bill de Blasio’s mayoral bid.
With the mayoral and comptroller candidates chosen, only one Democratic primary contest remains to be settled: the race to become the city’s next public advocate.
Mo' Money Mo' Problems
When the Queens Democratic Party announced it would be endorsing Councilwoman Tish James in the runoff election for public advocate, the crowd suddenly got much smaller.
Some of the city’s leading Democrats are displeased with Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s declaration that it would be a “godsend” if all the world’s billionaires relocated to the five boroughs.
With the city’s future mayor and comptroller widely expected to be white and male, women’s groups are flocking to Tish James in the public advocate’s race.
At an endorsement rally today at City Hall, Mr. James’s backers noted repeatedly that the Brooklyn Councilwoman would be the first black woman elected to citywide office if she wins her runoff election against State Senator Daniel Squadron on Oct. 1.
“Let me be a little more blunt: Do we really want at the top of the ticket for all citywide offices–the most important positions here in the city–to all be all white, all male?” asked Sonia Ossorio, president of the city’s chapter of the National Organization for Women, flanked by supporters of Ms. James.
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.
Although the chaotic Democratic mayoral primary has ended with Bill de Blasio emerging the victor, the race to replace the public advocate is just ramping up.
The October 1 runoff between Brooklyn Councilwoman Tish James and State Senator Daniel Squadron is widely seen as a tossup by political insiders, who note each Democrat carries glaring strengths and weaknesses into the contest. While Ms. James has a broad labor coalition and would be the only non-white Democrat to win a nomination, Mr. Squadron has enjoyed a fund-raising advantage and solid debate performances thus far.
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.
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.
After receiving nods from all but one of the city’s major unions thus far, Brooklyn Councilwoman Tish James public advocate campaign is continuing to roll out other notable labor endorsements.
Yesterday, Ms. James scored District Council 37, the city’s largest municipal workers’ union, and today, she’s adding UFCW Local 1500, which represents the city’s grocery store workers.