Bill on Bill
Ex-mayoral candidate Bill Thompson was not such a fan of Bill Bratton the last time the city’s next police commissioner served as top cop.
But the former mayoral contender is now commending Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s choice, arguing that things will be different now that Mr. Bratton is no longer answering to ex-Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Bill Thompson, the two-time mayoral candidate who was a runner-up to Bill de Blasio in the Democratic primary, is going back to his old municipal bond firm.
The city’s powerful teachers’ union voted today to endorse Bill de Blasio for mayor–after snubbing him during the Democratic primary in favor of Bill Thompson.
“Mr. Thompson has asked us to support Mr. de Blasio because he knows–as well as Mr. de Blasio knows–the city can no longer afford to go in the direction which it has been going for way too long,” United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew told reporters gathered tonight at the union’s Lower Manhattan headquarters after its delegate assembly had formerly voted for the second time this election season.
Through the Liu-king Glass
Endorsing Bill de Blasio was a move fraught with risk in May.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn was the vaunted front-runner in the mayor’s race, according to the polls. It was widely assumed that former Comptroller Bill Thompson, the only black candidate in the race, would consolidate the minority vote.
But the influential healthcare workers’ union went with Mr. de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, who now stands as the all-but-assured Democratic nominee for mayor. Mr. de Blasio repaid their faith by making potential hospital closures a centerpiece of his campaign: in July, he was even arrested for protesting the closures of two Brooklyn hospitals, a move that gave him needed publicity.
Even though he finished a distant fourth in last week’s Democratic primary, Comptroller John Liu was surprisingly upbeat yesterday.
Speaking at a Manhattan “volunteer appreciation party”–he has four more such parties scheduled today–the failed mayoral candidate told Politicker he was ready to look outside of politics for his next gig.
Republican mayoral contender Joe Lhota congratulated Bill de Blasio on securing his party’s expected nomination this afternoon and said he’s looking forward to a more mature and vigorous debate.
After weeks of being attacked by his ex-Republican challenger billionaire John Catsimatidis–most recently for saying he would not have shut down subway service to save two stray kittens on the tracks–Mr. Lhota said he was ready to go one-on-one against a candidate who has a dramatically different vision for the City of New York.
The city’s powerful teachers’ union just can’t seem to get mayoral races right.
When the United Federation of Teachers offered its coveted endorsement to Bill Thompson in June, it was seen as a game changer for the candidate. But the union’s efforts came up short yet again, with Mr. Thompson conceding the contest today after placing a distant second.
This is not a new situation for the UFT, which chose to sit out the 2005 and 2009 races, and–as its critics like to point out–last backed a winning candidate in 1989.
Exit Stage Right
Bill Thompson’s mayoral dream has officially ended.
At a City Hall press conference flanked by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and some of Mr. Thompson’s most ardent supporters, including Congressman Charlie Rangel and teachers’ union president Michael Mulgrew, the former comptroller today endorsed his one-time Democratic opponent, Bill de Blasio, in the mayor’s race.
“I am proud to stand here today and support Bill de Blasio to be the next mayor of the City of New York,” said Mr. Thompson.
Bill Thompson will concede the mayor’s race today and endorse front-runner Bill de Blasio, according to sources familiar with the situation.
Mr. Thompson is set to make the announcement at a 11 a.m. City Hall press conference, amid growing pressure from Democratic Party brass–and even some of his own backers—to bow out of the race to avoid a contentious runoff contest and unite the party ahead of November’s general election.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who reportedly helped to broker the deal, will attend the event, a source confirmed.
Rev. Al Sharpton welcomed “presumptive” Democratic mayoral nominee Bill de Blasio to his Saturday National Action Network rally this morning, where he declared that the identity politics of 20 years ago had given way to a new reality.
“What the election showed the other night is that a lot of the identity politics of 20 years ago, 30 years ago, has now become identity politics of policy,” he told the audience. “Bill Thompson did very well in some white areas, Bill de Blasio did well in some black areas. You can no longer take yesterday’s maps for today’s politics.”