Despite trailing his four major rivals in the mayor’s race, at least according to the public polls, Comptroller John Liu continued to express confidence that he’ll emerge victorious as he rolled out still more endorsements for his underdog campaign this afternoon.
“I want to be the mayor of all people. I am proud to be the mayor of change. We are going to win this election, and we are going to change this city,” Mr. Liu declared during a press conference on the steps of City Hall.
Although some might question the probability of Mr. Liu’s electoral prediction, few would question his hustle. Throughout the race, he’s far outpaced the competition, with a frantic schedule that often lasts late into the night, including several recent 4 a.m. events. A recent New York Times review of the candidates’ public campaign schedules found Mr. Liu far ahead of his opponents, with 853 events since April.
At the press conference–one of 10 events today–Mr. Liu rolled out the support of fifty clergy members, including pastors, reverends, imams and even members of Sikh gurdwaras, who touted the underdog candidate’s various promises to shake up City Hall.
“He promised us he is going to bring halal food to the schools,” said one supporter, Mazeda Uddin, a Bangladesh native who works with the Alliance of South Asian American Labor. “I don’t want him to lose.”
Still, those promises seem increasingly remote in the wake of a federal investigation into Mr. Liu’s fund-raising that yielded guilty verdicts against two Liu associates–a scandal that has dogged his campaign and tarnished his brand. In the face of such controversy, the clergy members made sure to vouch for Mr. Liu’s character.
“We stand in solidarity with him,” said Pastor Wilmouth Seaton of Brooklyn Community Church. “We have been approached by many as to why we would support a candidate such as John Liu. John Liu has never been charged with anything—with any wrongdoing. John Liu is not guilty of anything and I say to those who challenge us to endorse him, ‘You who are not guilty, you throw the first stone.’”
Like Mr. Liu, many of today’s endorsers were confident in the outcome of next Tuesday’s Democratic primary. “The next mayor of the city of New York coming soon right now is John Liu. My support and my prayers are for John Liu and his family,” said Rev. Carlos Lopez Garcia of the New York State Chaplain Task Force.
“We’ve got just six days to go that will determine the future of our city for many years to come,” concluded Mr. Liu at the end of the press conference.
He later added, “These polls numbers are completely off and we will see in a matter of six days just how far off they are.”