City Councilman Jumaane Williams, an outspoken advocate for police reform who has criticized Mayor de Blasio for not being progressive enough, won a special election to be the city’s next public advocate, the NY Daily News reported.
Williams was a fierce critic of the city’s stop, question and frisk policies under former Mayor Bloomberg, and a champion of the Community Safety Act, which sought to end race-based policing and established an inspector general for the NYPD. But while he backed de Blasio’s campaign in 2013 — which was built around a seemingly aligned platform of police reform — Williams grew disillusioned with de Blasio, particularly around accountability for officers accused of misconduct.
“The mayor I endorsed in 2013 is not the mayor I have seen lately,” Williams said at a debate last week.
The Flatbush Democrat won 115,975 votes, or nearly 33 percent with about 85 percent of the ballot scanners reporting, to beat 16 other candidates for the city’s No. 2 elected office, including three of his current Council colleagues, according to preliminary results from the city Board of Elections, Patch.com reported.
NY1 called the race in his favor just before 9:30 p.m.
Coming in second place was City Councilman Eric Ulrich, one of the race’s few Republicans, who sought to capitalize on frustration with Amazon’s abandoning its plan for a Long Island City headquarters. Ulrich, of Queens, had 68,22 votes, or about 19.1 percent.
But Williams isn’t guaranteed to hold the office for long. There will be a primary for the office in June, followed by another general election in November, and that victor will get to serve as public advocate until at least 2021.