Mayoral candidates Joe Lhota and Adolfo Carrión faced off last night at a televised debate, but it was somewhat awkward because the race’s front-runner, Democrat Bill de Blasio, was nowhere to be seen.
It turns out that Mr. de Blasio, who is dramatically ahead in public polls and fund-raising, was using the time to raise still more cash, a campaign spokesman told Politicker today after repeated questioning.
a bronx tale
Two of the city’s three leading mayoral candidates debated on live television last night. But the most prominent one was MIA.
Bill de Blasio, the city’s public advocate and the Democratic nominee, who is leading by as many as 50 points in public polls, skipped the first major debate of the general election–despite repeated requests from NY1.
The Bronx Democratic Party is now united behind Bill de Blasio’s campaign for mayor, but Republican Joe Lhota is not the only pol lying in the cross hairs of the Democratic machine.
With the colorful Democratic and Republican primaries now out of the way, third-party mayoral candidate Adolfo Carrión Jr. is trying to push himself into the spotlight, unveiling his first major policy proposal and insisting he has a shot at Gracie Mansion, despite what the numbers and pundits say.
“Many members of the press and other folks have cast this as a two-way race between a Democrat and Republican and then there’s everybody else. Well I am here to let you know that this year we have a three-way race with an independent candidate for mayor of New York City,” the former Bronx borough president told reporters on the steps of City Hall.
It’s worth a shot, right?
Lenora Fulani, the leader of the controversial New York City Independence Party, penned a letter to Democrat Bill Thompson today asking him to back their mayoral candidate, ex-Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión Jr., over Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, if he concedes the race.
“I invite you to join with us in building that new progressive coalition by supporting Adolfo for mayor,” Ms. Fulani declared. “I know that supporting the Independence Party candidate for mayor was not a part of your original playbook, but the future of our city cannot be reduced to the future of the Democratic primary.”
It’s unusual enough to see mayoral candidates campaigning together the day before a heated primary. It’s even rarer when they belong to different political parties.
But that’s exactly what happened on the steps of City Hall today as several candidates made a last-ditch effort to boost Latino turnout, resulting in the temporary union of Democratic mayoral candidate Rev. Erick Salgado and the Independence Party’s pick in the race, ex-Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión.
With Spanish-language media clustered around the eclectic cast of supporters–the cowboy hat-wearing State Senator Rubén Díaz Sr., one of Mr. Salgado’s most prominent backers, stood with Assemblyman José Rivera, a small slate of City Council candidates and the Hot 97 DJ L Boogs–the various politicians mixed English and Spanish in an effort to galvanize Latino voters.
“We know that there is a sleeping giant in New York. It is the Latino community,” said Mr. Carrión. “They represent the dreams and aspirations and desires of the immigrant communities that keep coming here.”
Taxation and Representation
In the middle of a mayoral forum in the Bronx last night, Anthony Weiner announced, for unexplained reasons, that he would be leaving early.
The murmurs in the crowd erupted into outright disgust as a phalanx of cameramen and reporters stampeded from the second floor church room to grill Mr. Weiner on his way out, leaving the forum, once packed with media, virtually uncovered.
The Iron Lady
City Republicans–and Adolfo Carrion Jr.–slammed proposed city legislation that would allow non-U.S. citizens to vote in local elections, calling the idea offensive, illegal and just plain dumb.
The City Council held a hearing earlier today on a bill that would allow any resident legally living in the city for six months or longer to vote in municipal elections. The bill, which is opposed by the mayor, has wide support on the council, with 34 sponsors–a veto-proof majority.
The Boogie Down
Politicos on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean are mourning former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who suffered a stroke and passed away earlier today. Indeed, at least two mayoral candidates have commented on the conservative icon’s passing so far, including GOP mayoral hopeful Joe Lhota.
“Margaret Thatcher was a 20th century visionary who understood the power of individual freedom versus the tyranny of government collectivism,” Mr. Lhota, who has described himself as a libertarian in the past, said in a statement.
In a serious blow to Adolfo Carrión’s chances of running on the GOP line, the Bronx County Republican Party is backing Joe Lhota for mayor. Mr. Lhota’s campaign announced the endorsement this afternoon with a statement that included a quote from Bronx GOP chair Jay Savino, who met with Mr. Lhota along with the rest of the county party’s executive committee Monday night.
“After an open and honest exchange it was our conclusion that Joe Lhota is the most qualified candidate in this race,” Mr. Savino said. “His proven leadership, in and outside of government, is exactly what New York City needs.”