James, Squadron to vie for Democratic public advocate nomination in runoff

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Councilmember Letitia James and State Senator Daniel Squadron will face each other in an October runoff to determine the Democratic public advocate nominee.File photos
Councilmember Letitia James and State Senator Daniel Squadron will face each other in an October runoff to determine the Democratic public advocate nominee.

The race to determine the Public Advocate Democratic nominee is still not over.

Councilmember Letitia James, who received 36 percent of the vote and State Senator Daniel Squadron who received 33 percent, with 98 percent of the precincts reporting, according to unofficial results, will go on to a runoff next month.

If any citywide candidate doesn’t get at least 40 percent of the vote, the top two vote getters must face each other in another election on October 1.

“Over the next 21 days, we’ll keep talking about my record—about results, reform, and integrity. And we will talk about my plan to make the public advocate’s office essential to our city, getting results for New Yorkers who need them,” Squadron said in a statement.

“Thank you to all of our supporters. We wouldn’t have gotten this far without you. Now let’s bring it home.”

Going into the race, Squadron had an endorsement from the New York Times and Senator Charles Schumer, who Squadron once worked for as an aide.

James had the backing of numerous elected officials and unions.

Following the news of the runoff, James, on Twitter, also thanked her supporters, expressing that she was already looking ahead to the runoff in a few weeks.

The three candidates eliminated were Reshma Saujani, Former Deputy Public Advocate and founder of Girls Who Code, Cathy Guerriero, a professor of education and politics, and Sidique Wai, a civilian member of the NYPD.

Out of the citywide primaries, the public advocate race garnered the least attention and may have left the most voters undecided.

According to the results of a NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll poll released on August 16, 51 percent of registered Democrats said they were undecided about which candidate to support.

Established in 1993, the Public Advocate is not only the city’s “watchdog, ensuring that all New Yorkers receive the city services they deserve and have a voice in shaping the policies of their government,” but is also second in line to the mayor.

The winner of the October runoff will face Green Party candidate James Lane and Libertarian candidate Alex Merced in the general election on November 5.