Could it be a preview of the battle to come?
Democrat Bill de Blasio and Republican Joe Lhota found themselves face-to-face yesterday evening at the Staten Island Ferry terminal, where the candidates had scheduled overlapping campaign events. The rare occasion offered a glimpse of the potential fiery dynamic many are expecting if the two mayoral front-runners go on to win their parties’ primaries this Tuesday.
“That’s the first Democrat I’ve seen in my 88 visits to Staten Island!” quipped Mr. Lhota, after spotting Mr. de Blasio and his team entering the terminal, which is often considered prime Republican territory.
Anthony Weiner’s 17-month-old son, Jordan, joined him on the campaign trail on Father’s Day Sunday, earning the occasional “awww” as the former congressman greeted voters at a street fair in Park Slope, Brooklyn, where he grew up.
Little Jordan, decked out blue plaid pants and a stylish fedora, seemed unfazed by the crowd of campaign staffers and reporters who trailed his dad, who was juggling babysitting, posing for photos and urging Democratic voters to sign petitions to get him on the ballot.
“You’re big-time upstaging me, bud,” he told his son, who munched on a cheese crepe as photographers snapped.
By the end of the month, Chris Ward, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, will be out of a job. Some of his aides and allies—and even possibly the big man himself—think they have a good position lined up for The Man Who Saved Ground Zero: mayor of New York City.
“Mayor Bloomberg has changed the public perception of what it means to be mayor, and that is a good and a bad thing” one Ward aide involved in the recruitment efforts told The Politicker. “People think this is a job for someone outside of politics. Chris kind of fits that bill. He is a chief executive, and chief executive of a huge municipality. Do we want to revert to form after we’ve broken the mold?”
While most of the pressure has come from those in Mr. Ward’s orbit and a few outsiders (call them the Wardens!), the lumbering, loquacious life-long civil servant would not pass up Gracie Mansion if the opportunity presented itself. Over the past few months, since things started to go south at the Port Authority under deteriorating relations with Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mr. Ward has been saying in private that he would not mind running for political office, in particular mayor, according to a person present for some of those conversations.
So long as the political—and financial—support is there, there may well be a Chris Ward candidacy.
City Council president Christine Quinn might not want to start picking out wall-paper for Gracie Mansion just yet. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has found a crucial celebrity ally in the 2013 mayoral race: actress Scarlett Johansson.
A lifelong New Yorker who grew up in Greenwich Village and was a strong supporter of Pres. Obama’s election, Ms. Johansson told PolitickerNY she will be working to help make Mr. Stringer the city’s next mayor. She’s currently helping to plan an October kickoff party, and plans to pledge the maximum of $4950 in addition to enlisting friends to the cause.