First Lady McCray Eyes Public Advocate’s Seat


New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray is seriously looking at running for public advocate and not the local Park Slope city council district seat in which she and Mayor Bill de Blasio come from and raised their two children before moving to Gracie Mansion, according to several sources.

NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray

De Blasio and McCray own two homes in Park Slope and it is where de Blasio launched his political career, first on the local school board, then in the city council and as public advocate before becoming mayor.

De Blasio has long called McCray his political partner, who has a strong say in much of his hiring. She also heads the city’s Thrive NYC initiative, which has become a national model for battling mental health issues, and its effect for contributing to crime rates, homelessness and other social issues.

De Blasio and McCray retain several close political friends from the neighborhood, who would likely be involved in a McCray bid for public advocate. This includes Joni Kletter, de Blasio’s former campaign treasurer, who currently works as the director of appointments in the mayor’s office.

Sources say McCray is unlikely to jump into the Park Slope City Council race, which is expected to field a number of loyalists to de Blasio, including Kletter’s husband, Doug Schneider, who is currently running for Democratic District Leader in the 44th Assembly District against Veteran Democratic District Leader Jacob Gold.

Other looking at the city council seat includes Democratic District Leader of the 52nd Assembly District Josh Skaller, UFT labor activist Bridget Rein and Brooklyn College History Professor Jason Reischel. Meanwhile, term-limited City Council Member Brad Lander (D-Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington) is openly telling people he is looking at the City Comptroller seat in 2021.

McCray’s press spokesperson did not return an email confirming or denying she is looking to run for public advocate.