Forum Photos by Michael V. Cusenza
Ulrich backers gathered at Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach Tuesday night to take in the race results.
By Michael V. Cusenza
City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) on Tuesday night finished in second place with 19 percent of the vote in the special election for public advocate. Fellow Councilman Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn) emerged victorious with 33 percent of all tallies in the race that saw low voter turnout and no less than 17 candidates toss their hats into the proverbial ring for a shot at a citywide office.
“Congratulations to Public Advocate-Elect Jumaane Williams on winning a hard fought campaign. The people of our great city have put their trust and faith in you,” Ulrich said. “I am asking all New Yorkers to join me in rooting for your success!”
Williams profusely thanked his supporters at his victory party at a Brooklyn nightclub.
“I am honored to serve as your next public advocate,” he said to a raucous crowd. “I’m so grateful to be standing here with all of you—my friends, my family, and this community that I love. You all stood by my side through every challenge, every obstacle, every opportunity. And your presence and support has meant more to me than I can express.”
Initially a favorite to win it all, former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who ran on the Fix the MTA line, finished a distant third, pulling in 11 percent of the vote.
“I know this is not the outcome we had hoped for, and that we all worked so hard for. But I also know that in this campaign, we helped change this city in so many important ways,” she said in a statement. “We pushed the broken transit system to the forefront in this campaign—and demanded New York’s leaders start addressing the city’s crumbling subways. We stood up for ignored NYCHA residents—and demanded transparency and accountability for New Yorkers living in dangerous public housing conditions. We brought to light the horrifying increase in ICE arrests in New York’s courthouses—and demanded the city’s chief judge ban ICE from all courthouses across the state. And we highlighted the shameful lack of diversity in citywide leadership.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio, a former NYC public advocate, also offered his congratulations to Williams.
“As a former public advocate, I know firsthand how important this office is to our city. The public advocate holds our entire City government accountable and amplifies the voices of all New Yorkers,” Hizzoner added. “I look forward to working with Public Advocate Williams to continue making this the fairest big city in America.”