Helen Rosenthal files for New York City comptroller run

New York City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal at a hearing.
New York City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal at a hearing.
William Alatriste/New York City Council
New York City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal at a hearing.

Helen Rosenthal files for New York City comptroller run

Fellow council member Brad Lander is also eyeing the post in 2021.
July 19, 2018

New York City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal has filed to run for city comptroller in 2021.

The Upper West Side Democrat became the first candidate to officially declare her intentions to run for the citywide seat by filing with the New York City Campaign Finance Board.

Rosenthal confirmed her plans to run for the position for City & State, saying she formed the campaign committee so far in advance of the election so people interested in supporting her could donate. Rosenthal said to expect a formal announcement and a platform about her plans in a few years, when the 2021 elections get closer.

“Now is not the time to be talking about what my vision is for comptroller. Now’s the time to roll up our sleeves and get to work and turn our state Senate blue,” she said.

Rosenthal did point to her record as chairwoman of the City Council Committee on Contracts from 2014 to 2017, when she helped draw attention to a sketchy contract with the Department of Education, and her June opinion piece in the Daily News calling for New York City to have more input in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's subway overhaul plan.

Rosenthal also worked in the New York City Office of Management and Budget from 1988 to 1995.

Brooklyn City Councilman Brad Lander confirmed that he is also interested in running for city comptroller. It’s expected to be an open seat in 2021 when City Comptroller Scott Stringer is term-limited out of the position.

But Rosenthal said she wasn’t looking at the competition yet.

“I’m not so much thinking about who else is running,” she said. “I’m thinking about all of the really exciting things that a comptroller does.”

A few other New York City candidates recently filed with the CFB to run for specific offices. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has declared he’ll run for mayor. David Eisenbach, a Columbia University professor, is running for public advocate. He ran for the office in 2017 and lost to New York City Public Advocate Letitia James in the Democratic primary. Lamor Whitehead-Miller is running for Brooklyn borough president and already has a Facebook page. The formerly incarcerated Whitehead-Miller has close ties to current Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, but the New York Post reported in 2016 that he lied about the work of his nonprofit organization.

In the City Council, first-term City Council members Justin Brannan and Mark Gjonaj have already declared they will run for reelection. Thomas-Lopez Pierre, whose history of domestic abuse and racist language was covered during his unsuccessful 2017 run against Mark Levine for City Council district 7, will run for the Harlem seat again. And Briget Rein, a lobbyist for the United Federation of Teachers, has declared for a run in Brooklyn City Council District 39, held by the term-limited Lander.

Jeff Coltin
is a senior reporter at City & State. He covers New York City Hall.