On a blistering cold day on February 26, candidates and their staffers are out and about. It’s the special election for NYC public advocate, New York City’s second highest office, a seat that became vacant due to a serious of convoluted events. The previous public advocate took the Attorney General’s seat after the the incumbent was revealed to have sexually assaulted a number of women. Seats like that don’t open up in politics too often, so it came as no surprise when 17 candidates announced for the position.
We follow Christina Gonzalez, deputy campaign manager for Jumaane Williams, a councilman of Caribbean descent who has struggled with Tourette’s syndrome throughout his life. Christina relates to Jumaane as she had her own struggles growing up in abject poverty in Puerto Rico, slowly rising through the political ranks. She has worked on three losing campaigns previously, all insurgents, all challenging the machine. She is hoping the fourth time is the charge, and with the momentum Williams has, it may very well be.
Williams previously ran statewide as a progressive alternative in the LT. Governor’s race, narrowly losing out to the incumbent by 5%. He starts the day in a strong position with the most money, name recognition and institutional support.
Still, there is no time to rest. Two opposing candidates the day before convened a press conference revealing a domestic violence arrest of Williams ten years ago that was later dismissed.
Using an office in downtown Brooklyn as a campaign headquarters, Christina does her best to marshall the troops. 6 months of effort hinge on just one day, just a few percentage points. It’s do or die.