NYC Council Speaker Johnson Declares Candidacy for Comptroller

Corey Johnson, the speaker of New York City’s City Council, said on Tuesday that he will run for city comptroller, joining an already crowded race to become the city’s chief financial officer.

The city comptroller is one of the most powerful posts in the city. The comptroller oversees city agencies and their spending, reviews city contracts, handles legal settlements, issues municipal bonds, and manages the city’s $240 billion public pension plans, the third-largest in the U.S. The current comptroller, Scott Stringer, is currently running for New York City mayor.

“I promise to be your voice when you’re knocked down and can’t speak, to champion the most vulnerable,” Johnson said in announcing his candidacy in Manhattan’s Madison Square Park. “To do the most good for the people who need it the most.”

Johnson, 38, a Manhattan Democrat who’s served two terms in the City Council, is barred from running for re-election by term limits. He leads a 51-member legislative body that’s overwhelmingly Democratic and has been an advocate for progressive policies such as closing the city jail on Rikers Island and providing financial aid to tax drivers. City council member Helen Rosenthal, who dropped out of the comptroller race in July, endorsed Johnson’s candidacy on Tuesday, praising his work shepherding the city budget through the council.

Johnson initially planned to run for mayor, declaring his candidacy two years ago only to drop out of the race last year after not raising enough money. Johnson had refused to accept contributions from the city’s real estate industry and limited political donations to no more than $250 each.

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