Letitia James Becomes 1st Black Woman to Win NYC Election

With a runoff victory to become the next New York City public advocate, James makes history.

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Letitia James, the next NYC public advocate, with Bill de Blasio, current public advocate, in 2008 (Getty Images)

On Tuesday evening, voters in New York City decided to make history. With more than 99 percent of precincts reporting, Letitia James, 50, was elected to be the next New York City public advocate, becoming the first African-American woman elected to a citywide office, after beating her opponent, Daniel Squadron, in a costly Democratic runoff. NY1 reports that James, who is currently a New York City councilmember for Brooklyn's 35th Council District, cited her historic feat in her victory speech.

"The first woman of color to hold citywide office in our city," she said. "All of us, all of us broke through that glass ceiling, and I am so proud of what we accomplished together, and yes, I'm proud that we made history tonight."

After neither James nor Quadron received more than 40 percent of the vote in the Sept. 10 primary, the two had to battle it off in the city's only runoff. The battle cost $13 million, which is six times more than the public advocate's yearly budget, according to the Epoch Times

James attended Howard University School of Law, graduating in 1986. She first stepped onto the New York City political scene when she was elected to take over for James Davis, a city councilman who was shot and killed inside City Hall in 2003. The office of public advocate, along with the mayor's office and comptroller, is one of only three positions to be determined by a citywide vote. The previous public advocate, Bill de Blasio, is currently the Democratic nominee for mayor of New York City.

Read more at NY1. 

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