Squadron, James square off tonight in public advocate debate

September 24, 2013 Associated Press
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The two Democratic New York City public advocate candidates, both of them from Brooklyn, will debate before squaring off in an Oct. 1 runoff election.

City Councilwoman Letitia James and state Sen. Daniel Squadron are scheduled to debate Tuesday night in Manhattan.

James, who represents a district that includes Fort Greene, Prospect Heights and Crown Heights, was elected to the City Council in 2003 after the assassination of Councilman James Davis. James, an attorney who grew up in public housing, became well known for her strident opposition to the Atlantic Yards project. She also was the first elected officials to point to irregularities in the city’s City Time payroll system. She advocated for the destruction of the decrepit Admiral’s Row houses in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, saying the people in the neighborhood needed the supermarket that would be put up in their place.

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Squadron, whose district includes both Downtown Brooklyn and parts of Lower Manhattan, defeated 30-year incumbent Martin Connor in 2008 in the Democratic primary for the state Senate. Beforehand, he was an aide to Sen. Charles Schumer and co-wrote Schumer’s book, “Positively American: Winning Back the Middle-Class Majority One Vote at a Time.” He is known for his advocacy for Brooklyn Bridge Park. He also is the son of the late Howard Squadron, influential lawyer and president of the American Jewish Congress.

The public advocate works to make sure residents are best served by city government.

The winner of the runoff will go on to the Nov. 5 general election.

There is no Republican candidate for the office.

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