De Blasio Cruises to Victory as Public Advocate

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    Heavily favored Democrat Bill de Blasio has been elected New York City's ombudsman.

    With 23 percent of precincts reporting, de Blasio had 77 percent of the vote for the office of Public Advocate. The former city councilman faced lesser-known Republican Alex Zablocki,  an entrepreneur and aide to a state senator from Staten Island.

    The public advocate acts as a watchdog of City Hall and takes over as mayor if he cannot serve.

    Bill de Blasio Wastes No Time Getting on the Job

    [NY] Bill de Blasio Wastes No Time Getting on the Job
    After thanking supporters at the Democratic Headquarters, newly-elected Public Advocate Bill de Blasio quickly went to task on Mayor Bloomberg.

    De Blasio has served as a councilman since 2002. Before that he worked for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and was campaign manager for Hillary Rodham Clinton's 2000 U.S. Senate run.

    Along with Mayor and Comptroller, the Public Advocate is one of only three elected by citywide vote and benefited from Mayor Bloomberg's end-run elimination of term limits.

    The position of Public Advocate, first in the line of succession if the Mayor is unable to finish out a term, was the new name given to the of President of the City Council in 1993. The office may have been done away with entirely in 1989 when a charter revision did away with the Board of Estimate.  But it was largely saved at the behest of Council President Andrew Stein who argued that the city needed a high-profile counterbalance to the mayor's office.  The office was renamed before the 1993 election.

    Its primary responsibility was to break ties in City Council votes, a power that Bloomberg managed to get eliminated in 2002. He has since hacked away the office's budget with regularity.

    On Sept. 29 Democrat Bill de Blasio won a primary run-off over Mark Green, the very first Public Advocate from 1994 to 2001