Brooklyn Councilmember Brad Lander officially secured his role as the city’s next comptroller, cruising to a a commanding 70-30 percent margin in the Nov. 2 general election against Republican long-shot candidate Daby Carreras.
At an election night watch party at Threes Brewing in Gowanus, Lander thanked supporters and vowed to carry out his campaign promises of fighting for a more equitable city.
“New Yorkers voted overwhelmingly for a just and equitable recovery, a thriving city that works for all neighborhoods, and one that’s more prepared for crises to come. As New York City’s next Comptroller — our budget watchdog, pension fiduciary, and chief accountability officer — I’ll fight hard every day to build that city,” Lander said in a statement.
Lander also used his speech to vow to divest city pension funds from fossil fuels, bring accountability to city agencies, and ensure COVID-19 economic aid was spent equitably in every corner of the city.
“New Yorkers in every single neighborhood can go to sleep at night knowing they’ve got a New York City that looks out for them,” he said.
Lander, 52, has represented Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, Cobble Hill, and parts of Kensington and Borough Park in the City Council since 2010, garnering a reputation as one of the most far-left elected officials in New York City. He ran on progressive credentials in the crowded primary race for comptroller with endorsements from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the New York Times Editorial Board, trouncing other candidates who emphasized their financial expertise rather than ideological politics.
The comptroller, otherwise known as the city’s chief bean counter, is responsible for auditing city agencies and overseeing the city’s nearly $300 billion pension fund. Many politicians who hold the post, including the outgoing Comptroller Scott Stringer and his two predecessors John Liu and Will Thompson, attempt to use it as a launching pad to higher citywide office.
In the lead-up to the general election, Lander has targeted the city’s spending of COVID aid, which he claims is being spent without accountability or adequate tracking. He pledged to set up a tracking system within his first 100 days in office to identify what exactly is being spent and whether that spending is bringing about the desired services.
“The money that has been spent has been a random wish-list as opposed to a strategic approach,” he told Bloomberg News.
“I’m deeply grateful for the support of New Yorkers, and eager to make government work better for all of us. Let’s get to work,” the incoming bean counter said.