As Attorney General-elect Letitia James prepares to become the state’s top elected prosecutor following her electoral victory Tuesday, two Queens elected have indicated a desire to succeed her as New York City Public Advocate.
A source close to Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing, Whitestone, College Point, Murray Hill) told Queens County Politics that Kim will soon announce his campaign for the post, emphasizing his credentials as both a candidate and officeholder.
As a candidate, Kim’s strongest credentials are being from Queens when few other candidates in the race are, as well as his status as an Asian-American. “The Asian share of the vote is not particularly large, but it’s not insignificant, especially in a multi-candidate race,” the source told this reporter. “Depending on turnout levels, it could be as high as 10% of the total citywide turnout between East and South Asian.”
Kim also has a strong fundraising ability, the source asserted. “Of the people who are potentially running who did not hold citywide office before he’s raised the most money.”
As public advocate, Kim intends to focus on “outside the box,” issues he prioritizes in the assembly such as addressing student debt, busting up trusts, introducing new financial technologies to improve communities, and opposing the proposed Amazon headquarters in Long Island City to defend “local, sustainable” jobs.
Also looking at the seat is City Council Member Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park, Lindenwood, Howard Beach, Breezy Point, Belle Harbor, Broad Channel, Rockaway Beach, Neponsit, Rockaway Park, South Ozone Park, Hamilton Beach, Woodhaven).
According to Ulrich’s Chief of Staff Kevin Tschirhart his boss is “seriously considering running for public advocate.”
Ulrich also called QCP saying, “New York City voters deserve an Independent candidate who isn’t afraid to hold the Mayor accountable and be a real voice for the people. If I run for Public Advocate, I will be that voice.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio will schedule the date of the special election for Public Advocate by January 4. It is currently expected to take place in the middle of February.