Sunday, April 20, 2014

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NY1 Political Director Bob Hardt's daily look Inside City Hall.

NY1 ItCH: Follow The Only Scandal-Free Citywide Race In Town

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With the race for the mayor and City Comptroller taking up so much of the political oxygen in the room during this campaign season, little attention has been paid to the third race for citywide office – Public Advocate.

First in line to the mayor, the Public Advocate is the vestigal remnant of what was once City Council President before the City Charter was overhauled in 1989. While the job is largely a bully pulpit for its occupant, it has served as a springboard for the mayoral runs of Mark Green and Bill de Blasio.

Our Zack Fink has looked at the five-way race over the last two days and convinced me that the job could be up for grabs. While State Sen. Dan Squadron and City Councilwoman Leticia James are considered the frontrunners, Reshma Saujani – who has raised a lot of money – and Cathy Guerriero – who has netted plenty of endorsements – should not be counted out. (With no money or name recognition, Sidique Wai is the longshot in the race.)

There is a real chance that no Democratic candidate will get 40 percent of the vote in the Sept. 10th primary – forcing an Oct. 1 runoff. While so much attention and speculation has centered around the mayoral campaign, this could be the undercard on runoff day. Tonight, NY1 is hosting a live debate from the Brooklyn Academy of Music with the five candidates at 7 p.m. and it's worth watching. Whoever wins will be a heartbeat away from the mayoralty and the Public Advocate can also serve as an important counterbalance to whoever is running the city. And it's the only citywide race in town without a sex scandal!

Bob Hardt

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