GREENPOINT — Councilman Jumaane Williams reigned supreme at Tuesday night’s Kings County Democratic Committee meeting after 10 candidates running for public advocate pleaded their cases and one rogue “write-in” candidate was asked not to.
When 10 of the 17 candidates on the ballot finished speaking, Theo Chino took to the front of the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint around 9:30 pm. The write-in candidate did not make the ballot for public advocate. He failed to submit the required 3,750 signatures during the petitioning period. He submitted 60.
“I am not on the ballot because I didn’t have the $25,000 dollars,” he yelled, responding to an audience member who screamed, “he was knocked off the ballot.”
In true democratic fashion, Chair Joe Bova announced he’d allow Chino five minutes to make a presentation if there weren’t any objects. But within seconds of the announcement, Councilman Kalman Yeger was approaching the front to weigh in on the disruption.
“This is not the first forum that Mr. Chino has come and stood up and started yelling,” he said. “Ladies and gentleman this is exciting but he’s not on the ballot.”
Bova polled the audience for objections and the audience declined Chino’s request.
As for the other candidates who are actually on the ballot, no one came to close to Williams’ 609 votes in favor to endorse the Brooklyn councilman. After each candidate presented for several minutes and fielded questions from a moderator, the districts convened for 20 minutes. Here’s the overall tally:
Michael Blake 57
David Eisenbach 1
Rafael Espinal 119
Anthony Herbert 0
Ron Kim 14
Nomiki Konst 9
Melissa Mark Viverito 29
Daniel O’Donnell 6
Jared Rich 1
Ydanis Rodriguez 0
Hilal Sheikh 0
Dawn Smalls 61
Jumaane Williams 609
Benjamin Yee 15
There were 31 abstentions. While most districts pulled for Williams, a few went against the status quo. Committee members in 48th assembly district, which includes Borough Park voted 35 in favor of Espinal with Williams receiving a mere 3 votes.
District Leader David Schwarz declined to comment.
Williams barely edged out a win in the 45th district which encompasses Sheepshead Bay. The district voted 13 to 12 in favor of Williams.
In the 64th assembly district, Williams beat out Blake and Espinal. This after the Bay Ridge Democrats political club endorsed Blake last month over Williams.
Annette Robinson was there representing the 56th assembly district, who drew more than 30 votes for Williams. Robinson’s political club, Vanguard Independent Democratic Club (VIDA), also announced their endorsement of Williams this week.
Seventeen candidates will be on the Feb. 26 ballot. The position acts as a watchdog over the mayor and New York City agencies and investigates complaints about city agencies, according to the public advocate website.
The public advocate’s seat opened after Attorney General Letitia James took her position on Jan. 1. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the special election on Jan. 2, leaving candidates eight weeks to prepare and run for the seat.