Letitia James Elected NYC Public Advocate

Brooklyn City Councilwoman Letitia James won yesterday’s runoff to succeed Bill De Blasio as New York City Public Advocate. She is the first black woman to win citywide office.

Ms. James, 54, defeated Daniel L. Squadron, 33, a state senator from Brooklyn and Manhattan, by nearly 60 percent of the vote to about 40 percent. Because there is no Republican candidate, Ms. James will almost definitely be elected to succeed Bill de Blasio, the public advocate and Democratic nominee for mayor. Ms. James, who held a packed victory party at the Copacabana in Midtown, gave a sermonlike victory speech to cheering supporters, saying that she would be proud to make history as “the first woman of color to hold citywide office in New York City,” promising to fight for middle-class New Yorkers, and suggesting that Mr. Squadron had been supported by the political elite and “one-percenters.”

Only about 8% of the city’s 2.8M registered Democrats turned out for the runoff election, which cost the city an estimated $13M, dwarfing by far the annual $2M budget of the office she won.