How times have changed.
Councilman James Gennaro, once a fierce backer of Council Speaker Christine Quinn and an even fiercer critic of her old rival, Bill de Blasio, is now one of the presumptive Democratic nominee’s biggest fans.
“So the people really want change. And they want it now. And they want their agent of change to be Bill de Blasio. Period,” Mr. Gennaro, a term-limited Queens councilman, declared in a jubilant statement titled, “It’s a New Day in NYC- Congrats to de Blasio!”
“On the number one issue of change, it was a rout for de Blasio. In the overall vote count, it was a rout for de Blasio. Highest favorability rating? De Blasio. Lowest unfavorable rating? De Blasio. You get the idea,” he added.
Mr. Gennaro’s kind words came not long after Bill Thompson, the second place finisher, conceded the race today, making Mr. de Blasio the favorite to become the city’s next mayor.
While many of Ms. Quinn’s former backers have turned to Mr. de Blasio, the words are especially notable coming from Mr. Gennaro, who was once one of Ms. Quinn’s most aggressive attack dogs, bashing Mr. de Blasio on issue after issue. As the public advocate pressed Ms. Quinn to pass paid sick leave legislation earlier this year, Mr. Gennaro shot back, for instance, that Mr. de Blasio was simply “on a quest for relevance.”
Last week, Mr. Gennaro told Politicker that while he’d worked hard for Ms. Quinn and wanted to see her prevail, he was blown away by the support the public advocate had received.
“What was remarkable about the day was how strongly the people came out for Bill de Blasio and gave him an overwhelming support. It was every category. It was phenomenal. I really feel like the people have really spoken,” he said. “Tuesday was really Bill de Blasio’s day. People really made their voices heard and that’s what we go by.”
View Mr. Gennaro’s congratulatory statement below:
It’s a New Day in NYC — Congrats to de Blasio!
Kudos to Mr. Thompson, who embraced this moment to show the graciousness, civility and class for which he has always and will always be known. He’s a unifier, not a divider, and today he made us one party. Thank you, Bill!
And I wish to thank the voters for making things ABUNDANTLY clear last Tuesday — they overwhelmingly want change. The exit polls from Tuesday’s primary clearly showed that the “candidate quality that mattered most in deciding your vote for mayor” was the ability to “bring change.”
So the people really want change. And they want it now. And they want their agent of change to be Bill de Blasio. Period. Of those voters who wanted change, Bill de Blasio garnered more votes than Bill Thompson and Chris Quinn combined. And of the 74% of voters who believe the next mayor should “move the city in a new direction,” de Blasio received much more of their vote than Thompson and Quinn combined (de Blasio received the support of 55% of these voters, compared to 21% for Thompson and 11% for Quinn).
On the number one issue of change, it was a rout for de Blasio. In the overall vote count, it was a rout for de Blasio. Highest favorability rating? De Blasio. Lowest unfavorable rating? De Blasio. You get the idea…
Now the Democratic primary process is over, and it’s a GOOD thing. We now know what the people want. And we ABSOLUTELY know who the people want to deliver it. It’s the people’s city, it’s their choice, and they want Bill de Blasio.
I, and other elected officials, pulled out all the stops to support our respective candidates and influence the Democratic Party electorate. I supported Chris Quinn with great exuberance, but it is a new day, and I urge all Democrats to respect, embrace and affirm what the voters so overwhelmingly told us last Tuesday: they want the city to change course, and they want Mr. de Blasio to lead us along that course.
So my fellow Democrats, take this moment to congratulate and celebrate our nominee, our Democratic standard bearer — Bill de Blasio — and let us ALL commit to getting to work and doing everything we can to win the hearts and minds of the general electorate — Democrats all across the broad philosophical spectrum of our great and inclusive party, independents and Republicans — and WIN THIS ELECTION!
With additional reporting by Jill Colvin.