Promising No More Drama, Garodnick Declares for Comptroller

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By Andrew J. Hawkins

All those suffering from John Liu scandal exhaustion, consider the alternative: Dan Garodnick, your "no drama" comptroller candidate.

That is the message the Upper East Side councilman sent to his supporters on Tuesday as he announced his intentions to run for city comptroller in 2013.

"You're not going to get a lot of drama from me," Garodnick says in the 1:47-long video announcing his run. "I will be a single-minded watchdog over our taxpayer dollars in a way that is both disciplined and responsible."

Garodnick's interest in the comptroller's office has been rumored for months. City and State first reported in November that he was eyeing a run, while the New York Times reported last week that Garodnick was all but assured to announce his candidacy. And with this week's video message, the campaign is official. He made an announcement on the steps of City Hall at noon, April 3.

"I wanted to share the news that I've decided to run for New York City comptroller next year," Garodnick said in the video, while bikes and pedestrians stream past in the background. "A lot of New Yorkers don't know what this job is. But if you're a taxpayer and care about our public schools or hospitals, our police department or if you're a member of one of our five pension systems, this is an important job for you. We have some very difficult budget challenges coming down the pike."

One potential snag for Garodnick is that the office's current occupant, John Liu, has yet to formally declare his intentions for mayor, nor has he officially declined to run for re-election.

Garodnick doesn't mention Liu in the video, but his message seems designed to waylay concerns supporters may have about the current occupant of the comptroller's office. And if Liu ends up running for re-election, it's a message Garodnick could fall back on in a primary.

"New Yorkers need an independent voice that they can trust in the comptroller's office," Garodnick said. "That means being totally focused on finding creative ways to make sure our government is working as effectively as it can, focusing on the essential elements of the job and restoring public trust in the office."

Garodnick has been turning his attention lately to issues that could loosely be described as comptroller-ish in substance. He helped draft the bill to give more prosecutorial powers to the Civilian Review Complaint Board. He also introduced a bill that would give city whistleblower privileges to employees of firms with large city contracts. And he penned an op-ed in favor of campaign finance reform for the Albany Times-Union, a paper not readily available in his Upper East Side district.

And with $1 million in his campaign account transferable to a citywide race, Garodnick would be a formidable candidate.

At the end of the video, Garodnick urges supporters to visit his website and unveils his campaign logo: Dan Garodnick, Democrat for City Comptroller.

This story was first published on the City and State website on April 3. For more city politics, visit

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