De Blasio wins in landslide to become Public Advocate

The Brooklyn Paper
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Brooklyn’s own Bill de Blasio was elected in a landslide to become the city’s next public advocate.

With 94 percent of the citywide unofficially tabulated at press time, the lanky Park Slope pol running on the Democratic line had 77 percent or 633,834 votes compared to Republican candidate Alex Zablocki’s 18 percent or 145,222 votes.

De Blasio, who was unreachable at press time about his win, was the one time campaign manager for Hillary Clinton, and has been representing Brooklyn’s 39th District in the City Council since January, 2002.

Representing residents of Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Windsor Terrace, Kensington and Borough Park, de Blasio had often challenged Mayor Bloomberg on a number of issues.

The die was cast last year when de Blasio veered away from his City Council colleagues and voted against the term limits bill that would give city officials a third term in office.

De Blasio said that once he becomes the city’s top watchdog he would work to streamline and strengthen city agencies that are designed to assist everyday residents with city agencies, as well as the Civilian Complaint Review Board, which was created to investigate police misconduct.

On September 15, de Blasio rose above a field of four for Public Advocate. But since De Blasio only secured 32 percent of the vote, not 40, a runoff was called.

In a runoff election that was high on negativity and low on voter turn out, de Blasio defeated challenger Mark Green by 25 points, all but assuring him of this week’s win.

But de Blasio’s win could have the wind cut from his sails as Mayor Bloomberg and several city council members are vowing to disband the public advocate office.

The office currently serves as a watchdog role with no legislative powers, although the public advocate is next in line to become the city’s chief executive if something happens to the mayor.

- with Tom Tracy

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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