17 public advocate candidates appear on special election ballot

New York City voters will elect a new public advocate on Tuesday, filling a role left vacant by state Attorney General Letitia James. 

More than 20 candidates filed petitions to be on the ballot, but after a review period, the BOE determined that 17 met the requirements. One of the qualifying candidates, Assemb. Latrice Walker, ended her campaign after she did not make the first official debate. She asked the BOE to take her name off the ballot, but her request was denied.

Scroll down to find out who the 16 active candidates are, as well as more details about the special election. 

When is the election?

The special election will be on Tuesday, Feb. 26. Polls will be open until 9 p.m. Only registered voters can participate.

If you need to check your registration status or where your polling location is, you can find out on the NYC Board of Elections website.

How does the election work?

There were no primaries and the candidates are running on party lines that they created.

The 17 candidates who submitted the necessary paperwork and a petition with at least 3,750 valid signatures by the January deadline appear on the ballot in the order that they filed their petitions.

The winner of Tuesday’s election will serve as public advocate until at least Dec. 31, 2019. To complete James’ term, which is through 2021, candidates will have to run again in the normal election cycle later this year.

Who are the candidates?

The following are the 16 active candidates and their party lines. Read their responses to amNewYork’s questionnaire here.

Manny Alicandro (Better Leaders)

Alicandro is an attorney, who ran unsuccessfully for New York attorney general. 

Michael Blake (For the People)

Blake is a State Assembly member, representing Morrisania, Claremont and other parts of the Bronx.

David Eisenbach (Stop REBNY)

Eisenbach is a history professor at Columbia University. He ran unsuccessfully for public advocate in 2017. 

Rafael Espinal Jr. (Livable City)

Espinal is a City Council member, representing Bushwick, Cypress Hills and other parts of Brooklyn.

Anthony Herbert (Residents First)

Herbert is a community activist who has worked for a City Council member, a congressman and the State Senate. 

Ron Kim (No Amazon)

Kim is a State Assembly member, representing Flushing and other parts of Queens.

Nomiki Konst (Pay Folks More)

Konst is an investigative journalist and activist.

Melissa Mark-Viverito (Fix the MTA)

Mark-Viverito is the former City Council speaker, who represented parts of the South Bronx and upper Manhattan. 

Daniel O’Donnell (Equality For All)

O’Donnell is a State Assembly member, representing the Upper West Side and other parts of upper Manhattan. 

Jared Rich (Jared Rich for NYC)

Rich is an attorney. 

Ydanis Rodriguez (Unite Immigrants)

Rodriguez is a City Council member, representing Inwood and other parts of upper Manhattan.

Helal Sheikh (Friends of Helal)

Sheikh is a teacher and community activist who ran unsuccessfully for City Council in 2017.

Dawn Smalls (No More Delays)

Smalls is an attorney who worked in the Obama and Clinton administrations.

Eric Ulrich (Common Sense)

Ulrich is a City Council member, representing Ozone Park, Howard Beach, Rockaway Park and other parts of Queens.

Jumaane Williams (It’s Time Let’s Go)

Williams is a City Council member, representing Flatbush, Midwood and other parts of Brooklyn. He also ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2018. 

Benjamin Yee (Community Strong)

Lee is an activist, teacher and the vice president of the national Young Democrats of America. 

Candidates who had filed, but did not make the ballot after review of the petitions are Theo Chino, Ifeoma Ike, Walter Iwachiw, Danniel Maio, Gary Popkin and Michael Zumbluskas.

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