Jumaane Williams Is NYC's New Public Advocate

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. Photo via Jumaane Williams’ campaign

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. Photo via Jumaane Williams’ campaign

By David Brand

Jumaane Williams is the winner of New York City’s special election for public advocate.

Williams, a Brooklyn councilmember, defeated 15 other candidates for the seat vacated by Letitia James when she assumed the office of state attorney general last month. New York 1 first projected the victory with roughly 80 percent of the ballots counted.

WIlliams’ victory is the culmination of a feverish, truncated campaign season that featured dozens of candidate forums. It was the first special election for citywide office in New York City history.

Williams narrowly lost the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor in September 2018. His strong showing in that election — he won Brooklyn and Manhattan — and his citywide name recognition led several experts to consider him the frontrunner in the special election.

Williams was first elected to represent the city’s 45th Council District in 2009. The district includes Flatbush, East Flatbush, Flatlands and Marine Park in Brooklyn.

Eric Ulrich, a Queens councilmember and the lone Republican elected official in the race for public advocate, was projected to finish second. Melissa Mark-Viverito, the former Speaker of the City Council was in third place with 80 percent of results counted.

The race for public advocate is just getting started, however.

Tomorrow, candidates begin petitioning for the June Democratic and Republican primaries ahead of the November general election.

Williams will serve in office until Dec. 31 unless he wins the primary and general election.

After New York 1 projected his victory, Williams’ supporters celebrated his long tenure as an activist before he was elected to public office and his continued social justice activity while in the council: