| 11 Nov 2014 | 02:14

    The 2009 public advocate race recently got more crowded when Council Member Jessica Lappin announced that she is considering a run. And there are already two candidates ready to launch Council campaigns should her bid become official. So far, Lappin"s Council colleagues Bill de Blasio from Brooklyn and Eric Gioia from Queens have declared their candidacies, along with Assembly Member Adam Clayton Powell IV, who represents East Harlem, and famed civil liberties attorney Norman Siegal, who has run for the seat two times before. The city"s first public advocate, Mark Green, is also considering a bid for his old seat. Political neophyte Alex Zablocki is running for the Republican nomination. The candidates are vying to succeed Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, who is not seeking the third term afforded to her by Mayor Michael Bloomberg"s term limits extension. Lappin, whose office declined an interview but confirmed that she was considering a run, as of now would be the only woman in the race, filling a void and untapped base. But the bid comes with certain risks. By law, Lappin, who is in her first term in the Council, would have to give up her safe Council seat because it is up for election the same year as the public advocate"s seat, and candidates cannot run for two offices at once. Because the term-limit extension has given all city officials except district attorneys an extra term, Lappin would essentially be giving up two potential terms in the Council. Lappin would also be starting a citywide race relatively late. She is registered with the Campaign Finance Board as a candidate for her Council seat and is trailing in fundraising for the public advocate race with $125,579; leaders of the pack have broken the million dollar mark. Although Lappin has yet to make an official announcement, there are already two candidates prepared to run if the seat becomes open. Dan Quart, former chair of Community Board 8"s Transportation Committee, said he would make his second bid for the seat. In 2005, Quart came in second in the Democratic primary, losing to Lappin, who was then chief of staff to term-limited City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, by a margin of more than two-to-one. â??There"s a continuing need for an advocate to go down to City Hall and fight for basic progressive values, Quart said. Quart, an attorney, stressed his community ties and said he regularly offers pro bono legal work in the district for matters concerning transportation, disabled veterans and housing. Quart said he lacked political support in his first race for Council and will seek to change that for his return. However, he is going to continue the grassroots campaign he built in 2005. Quart has registered for an undeclared race with the Campaign Finance Board with $30,445 in his account. â??I have some standing in the community, name recognition and something to build on as I ask for support in 2009, he said. Community Board 8 chair David Liston is considering a run as well. Liston, an attorney at Hughes Hubbard, said his time on the board showed him how an effective Council member can improve the community. "I'm certainly considering pursuing the vacancy, if there is one," Liston said. "I've enjoyed the community board and seeing the impact I've had on the community through my work as Chair of the Board." Updated 12/01/08 - 2 p.m.