Public Advocate, Comptroller and Borough President: They’re on your ballot, have you heard of them yet?

Manahattan Borough President Make Levine celebrates his victory on Primary night. Photo by Dean Moses

Though not every candidate gets major coverage during general elections, each voter’s ballot is full of interesting contenders. In this series, we’ll link to the dedicated pieces about the candidates who have the most notoriety, and dive deeper on candidates others haven’t followed as closely, to prepare for early voting in city elections. 

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, and the polls are open from 6am to 9pm. The Early Voting Period is from Oct. 23, 2021 – Oct. 31, 2021. 

Public Advocate

Jumaane Williams (D) 

See his interview with PoliticsNY’s Skye Ostreicher here.

Anthony Herbert 

Herbert entered the race as an independent candidate focused on advocating for public housing residents. His experience in advocating for his community includes serving as the executive community member of the NYCHA chapter of the NAACP. In 2019, he told am New York, “my ultimate goal will be to uncover the waste and corruption that takes place in NYCHA so that we can repair apartments and return them to the rent rolls.”

He also wants to convert unused hospital space into housing for the mentally ill, as a way to reduce the jail population. Though he speaks openly about his care for the homeless community and residents of public housing. Unlike the incumbent, Jumaane Williams, Herbert will not be seen protesting for defunding of the police. According to his campaign site, he is opposed to the defunding of NYPD to fund other social services, saying ”I condemn the anti-police posture sweeping through the City Council. I know that the NYPD is the key to a safer New York City.”

Herbert previously worked as the chief of staff for a city council member.

Dr. Devi Nampiaparampil (R)

Devi Nampiaparampil is known as a medical analyst who has published research on disparities in healthcare and childhood development. She received her medical degrees at Harvard and is currently affiliated with NYU Langone Hospitals. She is also a rated 5 stars by her patients, according the US News and World Report. But she’s probably most recognized by her many appearances on Fox News. She’s reacted to and advised on every COVID-19 update since the start of the pandemic, making her a voice of reason for those who watch the network. Politically, she is against the Bail Reform Law which strongly curtailed the use of bail, and is for increasing the number of law enforcement officers on the streets. She is notably not against marijuana legalization but is wary of the process of legalization. In an interview with the Brooklyn Tea Party this July, she stated she was against vaccine passports and wary of getting her children vaccinated should they become eligible, because of their natural immunity. Though she believes the vaccine is the reason for improvements in New York, she implied that she was against mandates. She has since clarified that she is completely against them. 


Brad Lander (D)

Lander was featured in this story on comptroller candidates. Our Political Editor Stephen Witt also interviewed him in 2019.

Daby Carreras (R) 

His Twitter bio says he’s a money manager on Wall Street, and he wants to translate his financial knowledge into management of the city. He’s for more education and jobs, and lower city taxes, as well as rent stabilization and housing for the homeless. In a recent interview, Carreras mentioned that he doesn’t necessarily see himself as “red or blue,” though most of his stances skew Republican. Though he lists these issues as important to him, he doesn’t get into specifics in is actual campaign. He is, however, very critical of the current comptroller, Scott M. Stringer. Carreras said in a campaign video, “Could you imagine where we have a situation where our comptroller does not care about public safety, who does not care about police officers?” The East Harlemite, of Puerto Rican and Cuban heritage, wants to tackle widespread fraud and corruption in the city, but has yet to release more specific plans on how he’ll do this. 

Paul A. Rodriguez (C)

The Conservative Party’s endorsement comes from Wall Street as well, and believes there is a financial crisis on the horizon for New York City. According to his campaign site, he was born in Queens and is also Puerto Rican. Rodriguez calls himself the “common sense comptroller” and has very specific plans he’d like to implement on the job. He’s focused on tightening up financial oversight of the cities agencies, and interestingly wants to address 311 and 911 calls from a “customer service perspective.” Rodriguez would implement Zero Base Budgeting, which he says puts more emphasis on why money is being spent, reducing spending, and focuses on the cost-benefit analysis. 

Bronx Borough President

Vanessa L. Gibson (D) 

Watch Gibson’s interview with PoliticsNY’s Skye Ostreicher here.

Sammy Ravelo (C) 

Watch Ravelo’s interview with PoliticsNY’s Skye Ostreicher here.

Brooklyn Borough President

Antonio Reynoso (D) 

Watch Reynoso’s interview with PoliticsNY’s Skye Ostreicher here

Mendy Raitport (R) 

Former New York State Assembly and Senate candidate Menachem (Mendy) Raitport is a Crown Heights native and butcher shop owner. Though his candidacy is roughly under wraps, he’s well known in the Brooklyn community and within the Republican Party. Raitport is a small business owner and active member of the Hasidic Jewish community. Though he is on the ballot for Brooklyn borough president, he has not updated his pages since running for state office.

Anthony Jones 

Jones is part of The Rent is Too Damn High party, a platform that boosts his idea of less gentrification and lower property taxes in Brooklyn. He wants to strengthen community boards so that they can have better relations with police. You can read more about him in PoliticsNY’s earlier article about the candidates here and here.

Shanduke L. Mcphatter

Mcphatter is a member of the Voices for Change Party, and the founder of Gangstas Making Astronomical Community Changes Inc., which provides mental health counseling, legal aid and job training in order to help reduce violence in the Brooklyn community. Mcphatter was formerly incarcerated and now dedicates his life to making other men like him choose a better path. He’s most recognized in the media for actively reducing violence. “I used to live in foster homes and I eventually became involved in the streets, which led me to prison, so I understand what these kids are going through and I strongly believe that it’s time for a change,” Mcphatter told Brooklyn Reporter in 2014. 

Manhattan Borough President

Mark Levine (D)

Watch Mark Levine’s interview with PoliticsNY’s Skye Ostreicher here.

Lou Puliafito (R)

While Puliafito was running for New York State Assembly, he was also working as a doorman on the Upper East Side. Now he’s looking for votes more locally in his home borough as Manhattan borough president. His current campaign is a bit more sentimental than it is policy-driven. He’s for all, he’s for the working class, and he’s trying to convince Manhattan to “Love thy Neighbor.”  It resembles a lot of the unity rhetoric that is seen on both sides of the aisle, but can come off as vague. 

Michael Lewyn

Lewyn is on the ballot for the Libertarian party. More housing, less zoning—that’s his platform. According to his campaign site, Lewyn “abolish all density restrictions.  If you can build 10 apartments on a parcel, you should be able to build 100.” He also favors some of the plans that create more open streets, and the mayor’s Vision Zero policies, saying they make it safer to walk and bike the city. Interestingly enough, Lewyn is not even sure that there should be a borough president. It seems like his strong opinions may be reserved for his scholarly work as an associate professor at Touro College’s Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center in Long Island.

Queens Borough President

Donovan Richards (D) 

Watch Richards’ interview with PoliticsNY’s Skye Ostreicher here

Tom Zmich  

Zmich’s most recent candidacy was for U.S. Congress, and his campaign has not been updated since that time, but he will be on the ballot for Queens borough president. He is a passionate Trump supporter and leads MAGA (Make America Great Again) Queens. He fights for everything the former president fought for—strict prosecution of undocumented immigrants, reducing the need for welfare and getting ride of Democratic radicals. 

Staten Island Borough President

PoliticsNY hosted a debate between all three candidates for this Staten Island borough president. Watch it here.


Editor’s note: Some candidates were incorrectly listed as Republican. They have been corrected to their actual affiliations as of Oct. 25, 2021.