In Jumaane Williams’ race for governor, real estate is unlikely to be in its corner – Business Observer

Jumaane williams is preparing to run for governor of New York, but he will likely do so without the real estate community in his corner.

The New York City Public Advocate announcement Tuesday that he had opened an exploratory committee to begin raising funds for a statewide campaign in a revenge of his 2018 lieutenant governor’s run against Gov. Kathy hochul, according to The New York Times.

My goal in public service is to fight for the people, against injustice and inertia. What is wrong and what is preventing those in power from doing it right ”, Williams tweeted Tuesday afternoon. “As our state strives to recover from COVID and move forward with the scandal, I am exploring a race for the governor to renew New York.”

In a message to campaign supporters, the progressive pol said he would visit the state within the next month and lean on a group of left-wing leaders, including members of Brooklyn City Council Brad lander and Antonio reynoso, for advice. Williams had previously called donors and insiders to give them insight into his candidacy, the New York Post reported.

However, real estate executives are unlikely to line up behind him.

“I don’t see any figure in the real estate industry who would have any reason to support Jumaane,” a real estate insider told Commercial Observer. “He’s a shameless critic of tax incentives. I can’t think of a single development project that he has supported.

There are many applicants to choose from after Andrew Cuomoit’s shocking resignation last month.

Attorney General Letitia james has quietly discussed a gubernatorial candidacy among assistants and potential donors, although she has publicly stated that she is focusing on her current job. Democratic MP for Long Island Tom suozzi said he would like to be governor someday and the Suffolk County executive Steve bellone would also be interested. And Hochul has already recruited several staff with seasoned campaign experience for his run, and has already achieved high marks in the real estate industry.

On the Republican side, Congressman from Suffolk County Lee zeldin accumulates endorsements and André Giuliani, the son of the former mayor, announcement a race in May, explaining in a sentence that has never been said in the American newspaper, I am a politician out of the womb. “

Williams once had a cordial working relationship with the real estate industry when he chaired the New York City Council‘s Housing committee between 2014 and 2017. He put pressure on the mayor Bill de Blasio To bolster construction safety training requirements while opposite the mayor’s mandatory inclusionary zoning proposal in 2016, as it did not impose sub-market housing units in wealthier neighborhoods that had historically opposed it. (Blasio’s administration arguably joined Williams’ thinking in their SoHo and NoHo rezoning.)

But as Williams led his campaign for lieutenant governor in 2018 and public attorney offers the following year, he made tenant advocacy a centerpiece of his candidacy in Albany. It was stopped while demonstrating outside the government of the day. Cuomo’s office in June 2019, demanding that the legislature pass more stringent rent regulations before it expires. And he opposed the 421a tax deduction for new developments, which expires next June, once co-wrote a new York Daily News editorial with Letitia James that the program is a “alms for the rich. “

During the pandemic, he demanded a rent freeze before a Rent Guidelines Council vote on rents for stabilized units in New York City. Then, in January, Williams appointed tenant activist Céa Tisserand, who requested the total cancellation of the rents, at Town Planning Commission. After public pressure, he took of his name a month later. And city council approved a bill in June, led by Williams and a council member Rafael Salamanca, which would require certain land use planning and neighborhood rezoning projects to include a racial impact study, in order to help curb the displacement of residents of dezoned neighborhoods. (The New York Real Estate Council rejected earlier versions of the bill, but said he supported the version eventually passed.)

Jay martin, executive director of the Community housing improvement program, a group of property owners and managers, believes Williams should tone down anti-owner rhetoric to be successful statewide.

“We’ve had enough divisive politics over the past few years,” he said. “Voters don’t want a governor who defames an industry for cheap political arguments.”

Williams nearly suffocated Hochul with this strategy when they faced off for the position of No. 2 in the state. But Hochul won in the September state primary by 53 to 47 percent.

From now on, Williams will likely operate national progressive networks and sites like ActBlue for a host of small donors. But he might find it difficult to subdue big donors when his opponents are likely to tap into the deep pockets of developers.

He raised around $ 260,000 in the state primary for his 2018 run and raised an additional $ 319,000 in private funds for a 2019 special election for the Public Advocate’s Campaign Records Exhibition, state and city. It received $ 1.1 million in public funds that year, but state races lack the city’s generous 8-to-1 matching fund program.

“It’s an interesting test for its viability,” said a Democratic donor to the real estate community. “If he raises half a million dollars, he’s viable. If he raises $ 76,000, that is not the case.

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