Just when you thought it was safe to focus on the general election… Primary 2: Public Advocate Runoff!
The low voter turnout in the September 10 Primary is nothing (despite the fact that the election will cost $13 million for an office with a budget of $2 million) compared to what is expected for the Public Advocate runoff tomorrow, October 1–but considering our pocket of Brooklyn does relatively well, we’re in a position to help those numbers a little.
If you haven’t already, check out last week’s NY1 debate between candidates Letitia James and Daniel Squadron–or at least the lightning round, during which you’ll learn that James loved this band growing up, that they both give out candy on Halloween, and that Squadron not only supports marijuana possession reform, but he’s actually tried it himself. Also, they both really dislike Mike Bloomberg’s policies. Shocking!
Or, if you don’t have a full hour to kill, the New York Times has a summation of the debate and Gothamist has a great guide to their positions. WNYC’s Brian Lehrer, who co-moderated the debate, also has a fact-checking segment on what was said.
Why should you care about who we elect as Public Advocate? Here’s one reason–whoever holds the office is first in the line of mayoral succession:
In case of the suspension of the mayor from office, the mayor’s temporary inability to discharge the powers and duties of the office of mayor by reason of sickness or otherwise, or the mayor’s absence from the city, the powers and duties of the office of mayor shall devolve upon the public advocate or the comptroller in that order of succession until the suspension, inability or absence shall cease.
Granted, the last time a mayor needed to be replaced while in office was 1950, but it’s still considered a stepping stone to Mayor–and two of the three people who have served as Public Advocate have been the Democratic candidate for mayor, including Bill de Blasio. The debate between James and Squadron even includes candidates’ positions on their mayoral aspirations.
In addition, while not a member of the City Council, the Public Advocate also has the ability to introduce legislation.
So let’s see if we can’t get those turnout numbers up. Get informed, make sure you know your poll site location, and get out to vote tomorrow–Tuesday, 10/1! And just as a reminder, this one’s only for registered Democrats.
Leave your reasoning for all three in the comments. And if anyone can tell us what a Squadrobar is, we’d really appreciate it.