City Council Speaker Christine Quinn made her final pitch to voters this afternoon as the former front-runner faces the once unfathomable prospect of not even making it into the expected runoff election.
Traveling through the Bronx and across the Upper West Side, Mr. Quinn urged supporters to get to the polls, offered thankful “yay!”s and hugs to those who’d already voted, and experienced what she described as the best moment of the entire campaign trail.
Ms. Quinn was standing on the corner of West 97th Street and Columbus Avenue when 12-year-old Victoria Bennett recognized the speaker while walking home from school.
“Wait–is that Christine Quinn?!” she shouted, stopping in her tracks. “Oh my God!” she shrieked, overjoyed and bursting into tears. “Oh my God!”
Ms. Quinn quickly rushed over to the little girl, embracing her in a giant hug.
“What’s your name she asked? … That’s a beautiful name.”
Barely able to speak after the encounter, the sobbing girl and her twin sister, Kathryn, explained that they’d seen Ms. Quinn on TV. “I watch the news a lot,” she said. “I just can’t believe it’s her.”
The encounter left an impression on both Ms. Quinn and her wife, Kim Catullo, who had joined her wife on the trail.
“Just wow,” said Ms. Catullo, marveling after the exchange. She said that moments like that helped Ms. Quinn deal with the more stressful aspects of the race. “She’s so strong. I have no idea how she’s doing it. But she’s driven by the folks who come to her like that little girl.”
Still, the tone among supporters was undeniably concerned about Ms. Quinn’s overall status in the race.
“Hoping for the best,” said one supporter outside a Fairway grocery store farther south.
“I think you’ll do a great job,” offered another, “if you get in.”
“We’ll see what happens,” said Joe Olshefski, 60, a supporter who lives on the Upper West Side.
But Ms. Quinn downplayed their tone.
“I think anybody on Primary Day or Election Day is concerned about their candidate,” she explained to the three reporters covering the stop–where front-runner Bill de Blasio yesterday was mobbed by a gaggle of fans and reporters so large shoppers couldn’t walk passed. “You don’t want supporters who aren’t concerned about your future, right? You want people to be invested in whether or not you’re going to right.”
The same, she said earlier, applied to herself.
“If you’re not nervous on game day, you’re not really in it,” she said, stressing she felt “very confident” she’d made it to the expected runoff.
Other voters concurred with Ms. Quinn’s confidence.
“I love Christine! I love her policies. I love everything about her,” said Geraldine Woods, 47, who had just come from casting her ballot for Ms. Quinn. “She’s got it!”
But regardless of what happens, Ms. Catullo, who has been described as Ms. Quinn’s rock, said things would be O.K.
“I’ve always said I’m a winner either way: Either I get to watch her do amazing things with the city or I get to spend more time with her.”
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.
The final debate between the Democratic rivals for mayor turned especially catty tonight–especially when the show moved from broadcast television to an online feed–as the candidates made their final pitches to voters one week before the primary.
Once again, front-runner Bill de Blasio had a giant target on his back, but this time the constant digs seemed to take their toll, with the public advocate constantly on defense over his policy plans as well as his record.
“He will say anything depending on whose votes he’s trying to get,” said Christine Quinn, who once led the public polls and ignored Mr. de Blasio, but now finds herself in third place as she hits him on a whole range of issues.
According to recent polls, former mayoral front-runner Christine Quinn is in trouble. Some now have her in third place–trailing Public Advocate Bill de Blasio by as many as 15-points–and even ardent supporters seem genuinely concerned that she might not make the expected runoff following next Tuesday’s primary.
But Ms. Quinn on Monday seemed as confident as ever as she campaigned in Astoria, Queens, following the West Indian Day Parade. Dressed in bright pink pants, a t-shirt and sandals, Ms. Quinn greeted excited voters in the immigrant-heavy neighborhood who repeatedly assured the candidate she’d do just fine.
Standing alongside her rivals at the first broadcast debate of the mayor’s race, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the contest’s former front-runner, seemed like a candy-coated version of herself.
Suited up to stand out in a bright pink dress and powder-pink jacket, the famously brash Ms. Quinn spoke slowly and softly, her head cocked slightly to the side, seemingly coached to dig into her opponents and deliver repeated talking points with a frozen smile.
“Quinn trapped in consultant Saran Wrap,” remarked one noted columnist of the wooden performance. One stunned Democratic operative described “a Stepford wife version of Chris Quinn.” A writer, pegging Ms. Quinn “the grinning assassin,” suggested she was “smiling and speaking slowly, as if trying not to alarm the audience.”
In an interview with Politicker after the forum, Ms. Quinn ascribed the observations to nerves ahead of the biggest primary debate yet.
Eliot Spitzer has been scrambling to collect the 3,750 valid signatures the city says he needs to make it on the ballot to run for comptroller. But could he actually need to collect double that?
According to several top election lawyers, Mr. Spitzer and other citywide candidates should, in fact, be aiming to collect 7,500 petition ballots–not just to provide a cushion to protect from faulty entries–but because that’s the minimum number required by a conflicting state law.