Take Two: After Thompson Drops Out, Teachers’ Union Backs de Blasio

Michael Mulgrew announces the UFT's endorsement of Bill de Blasio.
Michael Mulgrew announces the UFT’s endorsement of Bill de Blasio.

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.

Continue reading “Take Two: After Thompson Drops Out, Teachers’ Union Backs de Blasio”

Bill Thompson Supporters Start to Jump Ship

A man holds up a Thompson poster on Election Day. (Photo: Getty)
A man holds up a Thompson poster on Election Day. (Photo: Getty)

Even Bill Thompson’s supporters are now saying publicly that it’s time for him to end his campaign and rally behind Bill de Blasio as the Democratic Party’s nominee for mayor.

“In an election year with so many tough decisions on crucial issues, we must begin a new chapter today by uniting behind our Democratic nominee for New York City’s next mayor,” Assemblyman Walter Mosley, a former Thompson endorser, announced in a statement this afternoon. “I am proud to support Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.”

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Bill de Blasio Declares Victory in Front of Roaring Crowd

Bill de Blasio tonight with his daughter.
Bill de Blasio tonight with his daughter.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio–a once obscure public official with a name few at first could pronounce–declared victory tonight, and now stands on the cusp of winning the Democratic nomination for mayor without a runoff.

The latest returns put Mr. de Blasio at slightly over 40 percent of the vote–a feat once deemed all-but-impossible in a crowded field of five candidates. Continue reading “Bill de Blasio Declares Victory in Front of Roaring Crowd”

Some Disaffected Democrats Turning to Joe Lhota

Joe Lhota earlier today. (Photo: Getty)

Democrat Magda Katz walked into a breakfast this morning for Republican Joe Lhota knowing little about the candidate. By the time she left, she said, she was sold.

Frustrated by the current crop of Democratic candidates, Ms. Katz–a life-long Democrat–said she was impressed by Mr. Lhota’s background managing the city’s finances and his efforts in the days after 9/11, which were recounted by his old boss, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who spoke at the breakfast.

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November Preview?: Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota Do Ferry Face-Off

Joe Lhota and Bill de Blasio.
Joe Lhota and Bill de Blasio meet in Staten Island.

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.

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Offbeat Boxing Promoter Tries to Roil West Side Council Race

Aaron Braunstein a championship boxing belt. (Photo:  Matthias Bernold)
Aaron Braunstein and a championship boxing belt. (Photo: Matthias Bernold)

In a city where a prostitute-patronizing ex-governor and a pathological cybersexter can launch viable campaigns, Aaron Braunstein still manages to be one of the more singular candidates for public office this year.

Sipping a Red Bull and droning with a straight face about how he once won a Rolls Royce in a high-stakes Vegas card game, Mr. Braunstein is an unlikely City Council candidate for an even unlikelier district: the high-minded Upper West Side, where Mr. Braunstein, the father of Orange is the New Black actress Natasha Lyonne, lives alone in a cluttered apartment that once belonged to Mike Tyson.

“I talk to the biggest people in the world. I read Tolstoy, Hunter Thompson, I collect antiques … I mean, I’d vote for me,” Mr. Braunstein recently told Politicker, speaking in a Brooklyn rasp that conjured Godfather– era Marlon Brando. Mr. Braunstein was sporting a pencil moustache along with a three-piece suit, flowing scarf and silver tie peaking out from his vest. A gray ponytail flowed down his back, and on Mr. Braunstein’s plump ring finger was an ancient Roman coin the size of a silver dollar that he said had been fished out from the Mediterranean Sea.

Continue reading “Offbeat Boxing Promoter Tries to Roil West Side Council Race”