Public Advocate Jumaane William Eyes Bid for Governor of New York

In Summary

Left-wing advocate Jumaane Williams plans to “shake up” New York as he eyes a possible gubernatorial run against Governor Kathy Hochul.

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams announced an official “exploratory committee” as he prepares to tour the state to determine a gubernatorial run, per New York Times’ Katie Glueck

“I’m not doing this to run against anybody,” he said of the decision as reported by Politico. “I’m doing this to run for something.” 

RELATED: Andrea Stewart-Cousins to Become New York’s First Black Woman Lt. Governor

It’s a decision that means he will, once again, be going toe to toe with Governor Kathy Hochul in a Democratic primary next year. In a rematch, he’ll likely benefit from stronger name recognition and experience running statewide than he previously had. 

Williams was defeated by Hochul by 6.6 percentage points in 2018, during which time the now-governor refused to specify any areas of difference with Mr. Cuomo during a debate and spent her time in office touring over the state advocating the administration’s programs. Williams believes if “there was a lieutenant governor that pushed back a little bit harder, we may have not been in the situation we’re in,” per Glueck.

RELATED: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Announces Resignation

“We have consistently, vocally pushed back on the atmosphere that was there, and I think that’s the type of leadership we need,” said Williams said, as reported by Glueck. “It’s hard to renew and recover if you have the same old systems and structure that allowed the toxicity, allowed the scandals, allowed egos and personality to get in the way of progress.” 

In a special election in 2019, Williams was elected New York City Public Advocate on a platform of affordable, income-targeted housing, anti-gun violence measures, fair policing, equity and social justice problems, per his website. He’s passed more legislation in his first 18 months than any other Public Advocate in their first full term, including significant initiatives on housing, criminal justice, and workers’ rights.

“I’ve spent my entire career, most of my life, pushing and advocating and fighting on behalf of the people and against injustice and inertia. What’s wrong in New York, and what’s stopping the people in power from changing it. I’m proud to have had many successes in that fight,” Williams said, per ABC New York.

RELATED: Wisconsin’s First Black Lt. Gov. Wants to Be First African American From State in US Senate

He added the state is now fighting to recover from a pandemic and move forward from a period marked by toxicity, controversy, ego, and personality conflicts. Williams says the next few weeks will be spent weighing options so he can renew New York.

The people of New York will vote for governor and lieutenant governor on November 8, 2022.

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