Gillibrand will host a fundraising event for James’s citywide campaign on June 3, the councilwoman told me today.
“We’re raising money,” she said. “We’re focused on that right now.”
Gillibrand, who is running for reelection herself this year, has taken a particular interest in helping female candidates running for office. She has begun a campaign called Off The Sidelines to help mobilize women who are interested in politics.
James hasn’t officially announced a run for public advocate yet. Her run is predicated on the assumption that the current officeholder, Bill de Blasio, will likely run for mayor in 2013.
Other possible candidates include: Reshma Saujani, who ran a closely watched, yet failed campaign against Rep. Carolyn Maloney in 2010, and who recently left her job working for de Blasio to begin building up her own campaign; and State Sen. Daniel Squadron, who is openly fundraising for the job.
James recently took Saujani to task for challenging Maloney in a primary, an act she says was counterproductive to the cause of women in politics.
UPDATE: So while Gillibrand is helping James raise money, it doesn’t appear as if she’s formally endorsing her campaign. This just in from Gillibrand spokesman Glen Caplin:
“Senator Gillibrand will not be endorsing in the primary for the Public Advocate race. She has a number of friends actively considering the race and thinks they each would do a fantastic job as the Public Advocate,” said Caplin in an email.
Still, the money has to help.
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