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Tish James Mulls Citywide Office [UPDATE]

Fort Greene Councilwoman makes appearance at civic meeting in Queens on Tuesday night.

Update, 9:52 p.m.: Apparently far from mulling a run for Public Advocate, Tish James recently launched a campaign website and sent out a fundraising letter.

According to the New York Observer's Politicker blog, potential rivals for the job include former Congressional candidate Reshma Saujani and state Sen. Dan Squadron, D-Cobble Hill.

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Councilwoman Letitia James, D-Fort Greene, told attendees at a meeting of the Forest Hills Civic Association in Queens on Tuesday night that she was "considering" a run for Public Advocate in 2013.

"I am considering, assuming I have the ability, assuming that there is a vacancy, meeting all those conditions, of running for public advocate of the city of New York," James said.

In her remarks, the Brooklyn Democrat appeared to hesitate a bit as she introduced herself to a group of civically-engaged Central Queens residents—some of whom may not have heard of her before.

"People have said to me, 'Tish'—That's my nickname—'Tish, you've already served in that office as a public advocate, an unofficial public advocate and we believe you would make a good public advocate,'" she said.

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer joined James at a gathering of a key city constituency—the power base for such disparate political figures as Geraldine Ferraro, Anthony Weiner and current Rep. Bob Turner, who reportedly will face off against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand this fall.

The meeting came as Stringer, along with Brooklyn Beep Marty Markowitz, continued to be the subject of speculation regarding a possible mayoral run.

Regarding her own political aspirations, James promised the audience that she would return to Queens to give her pitch for citywide office.

"At this point in time, I put forth my candidacy, and I'm putting forth my candidacy to all of you here, in Forest Hills, and I look forward to the opportunity to come back and discuss with you at a later date, my vision for the office," she told the crowd.

James was first elected to the City Council in a race against the brother of slain Councilman James Davis in 2003 on the Working Families Party line.

Matthew Hampton contributed reporting.

Blankocat March 14, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Wait... what? Tish is leaving city council?

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