With the vacancy left by Letitia James for the Public Advocate seat there are about 20 who want to fill that spot. Among them is Republican Ozone Park Councilman Eric Ulrich, who has been
a friend to the Jewish Orthodox community for quite a few years. The candidates will run for that seat in a special election being held on Tuesday, February 26, which is a little less than 2 months from now. Those who haven’t as yet registered to vote have until 33 days from the election which is January 24. The special election is being run in a non-partisan format - which we really should have for every election to make it hard for people who don’t know the candidates to be able to just check the letter next to the name. Eric is running under the Party by the name of the Common Sense Party. The reason for enthusiasm for Eric’s run is because he stands out as a conservative or Republican oriented candidate from among many who are not that. No one has to obtain a majority (50+) vote to win. The candidate with the most votes will win the election. Eric explains that even with as little as 30% vote he could walk away with the prize. There is no run-off to the election.
Ulrich, who is considerate of religious freedoms, is supportive of education choice regarding equal government funding and education rights for private schools to freely, under the law, administer curricula time minimums as long as the outcome complies with state standards. The Councilman was the first to stand up in opposition to the proposed legislation that would require 7 1/2 hours of secular education for all schools including private or Yeshivas. It is the ultimate of Chutzpah of the NY State education dept to mandate such arbitrary and judgmental standards when the state and federal governments aren’t even funding the secular education portions of Yeshiva curricula. Which brings us to the question of why don’t State and Federal
governments subsidize the secular portion of education when administered in a private or Yeshiva setting? Eric Ulrich has long been an advocate for the Jewish Orthodox or for anyone who chooses to send their children to private school to be
able to get relief for school tuition the way any other NY State resident has for their child.
This is what Eric Ulrich spoke about at a fundraiser sponsored by the Bukharian Alliance of America and was enthusiastically received by a crowd of about 100 people at a dinner at the Japanica in Fresh Meadows on a Motzei Shabbos Jan 5.
This special election does not lock in the position for the winner for the next 4 years - a regular primary will follow in Sept and the general election will be in Nov of this year. However anyone who wins the special election will inevitably have an
an advantage of incumbency as regards the general election. In any case, the winner of the special election will serve at least until Dec. 31 2019. The reason this race is significant is because we know that the office of Public Advocate which is a position with which to publicly oppose policies taken by the NY City Mayor, is first in line to succeed the mayor and is watchdog of sorts over city agencies - is also a springboard to the Mayoralty itself which is what we witnessed with the election of Bill de Blasio who was the Public Advocate prior to being elected mayor.
I would estimate that at the fundraiser, Ulrich may have raised about $10,000 and in matchable funds of 6 to 1 would make that $10,000 into a total of $70,000. Ulrich has a good chance of winning this and if he wins the general election that takes place