Over the weekend, the mayor announced that a special election to fill the post of public advocate that was left vacant when Letitia James was elected attorney general will be held on February 26.
The list of those interested in the post is getting very, very long. And while special elections are nonpartisan, which means candidates can't run on any established party line, most of the candidates are avowed Democrats.
But there are two candidates who are trying to appeal to Republican voters in what is sure to be a low turnout election in Councilman Eric Ulrich and talk show host Curtis Sliwa.
Two weeks ago, former Queens County GOP chairman and former congressman Bob Turner endorsed Sliwa for the post.
And the heads of four Queens County Republican clubs stopped just short of endorsing Sliwa, but posed for a photo with him and sent out a press release denouncing Ulrich, the only Republican elected official in the borough.
Both those moves were just as much about supporting Sliwa as they were denouncing Ulrich, who many blame for ousting Turner as chair of the party, just the latest in a long-running power struggle for control of the Queens County GOP.
Now Sliwa is criticizing Ulrich for taking the support of the Kings County Republican Party in the race.
Sliwa's main point of contention is with Anthony Testaverde, a member of the Kings County GOP and former special assistant to Marty Golden, who lost his seat in the State Senate last year.
Testaverde allegedly shared posts on Facebook that were critical of survivors of the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, including one apparently comparing survivor David Hogg to Hitler.
Sliwa's campaign released a photo of Ulrich standing “almost side by side” with Testaverde.
“Earlier this year, myself and many other Brooklynites and New Yorkers were shocked to learn of the repugnant posts by Anthony Testaverde,” a press release read. “For Eric Ulrich to stand virtually side by side with him is wrong. I call on Ulrich to denounce his words and endorsement."
Of course, that didn't stop Sliwa from courting the endorsement of the Kings County Republican Party. He asked the chair of the party for a chance to address the Executive Committee or for the Kings County GOP to host a forum where he and Ulrich could debate.
Both requests were refused, and the party endorsed Ulrich, which upset Sliwa.
But now that the party has endorsed his opponent, Sliwa assures that he never, ever would have posed for a photo with Testaverde, and that would have been a condition of any support.
"If I were permitted to speak to the Brooklyn GOP, I would have told them that I would not accept an endorsement from Testaverde or be photographed with him,” Sliwa's press release went on. “If they didn't like it, I would have walked out.
“Apparently, in his quest to stay on the public dime because he is term-limited in his current position, de Blasio Republican Eric Ulrich has no such moral issues," he added.
Easy to say now!
Republicans sure are getting worked up about an election that technically won't even feature a Republican candidate.