Comptroller, Public Advocate Candidates Face Runoffs

De Blasio vs. Green; Liu vs. Yassky

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Bill de Blasio speaks from the podium as opponent Mark Green looks on during a debate on Sept. 8.

    It ain't over yet.

    Candidates for city public advocate and comptroller are headed for runoffs after primary voting Monday did not result in any clear winner.

    The runoffs are scheduled for Sept. 29, giving candidates who failed to get 40 percent of the vote in the primary election another chance to build some momentum.

    The Democratic race for public advocate narrowed to two candidates Tuesday night -- City Councilman Bill de Blasio, who was an early favorite, and Mark Green, who was already Public Advocate in the 1990's.

    In Tuesday's primary, de Blasio garnered about 32.5 percent of the vote, while Green took 31 percent.

    Councilman de Blasio scored something of an upset in the race, narrowly running ahead of Green, who had logged a significant lead in pre-election polls and had spent seven years as public advocate, from 1994 to 2001.

    The public advocate is the City Hall watchdog, and is second in line if something happens to the mayor.

    The Democratic nominee will face Alex T. Zablocki, a Republican, in the Nov. 3 election. But in a city where Democrats vastly outnumber Republicans, the Democrat is likely to win, as the New York Times pointed out.

    In the tight comptroller contest, Queens Councilman John Liu, who had the Working Families Party support, took 38 percent of the vote, while Brooklyn Councilman David Yassky came in second place, with 30 percent. 

    The city comptroller is the chief financial officer of the city, analyzing the budget and auditing city agencies. The comptroller is also in charge of the $80 billion municipal pension system.

    The results set up a contest between two men who have projected sharply different images to voters, the Times said.  Liu struck a populist tone while Yassky, a former law professor, touted his accomplishments closing tax loopholes and providing tax incentives to encourage film companies to shoot in the city.

    The winner of the comptroller runoff will face a Republican candidate, Joseph A. Mendola, a lawyer at a brokerage firm.