Occupy the mayor's race
Members of New York City’s Congressional delegation, long relegated to the sidelines of local politics, are increasingly filling the void left by the declining influence of political party apparatchiks.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in Brooklyn, home to Democratic mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio and his GOP rival Joe Lhota, as well as public advocate runoff contenders Letitia James and Daniel Squadron. The latest trend from the borough of hipsters, Hasidim and Caribbean homelands is the toppling of incumbents with the help of U.S. Representatives Hakeem Jeffries and Nydia Velázquez.
This afternoon, Bill de Blasio described his candidacy for mayor as an outgrowth of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which is celebrating its second anniversary occupying Zuccotti Park today.
“It’s a complicated movement to say the least, but the core message was we have to address inequality,” said Mr. de Blasio during an endorsement press conference on the steps of City Hall, where the drums from an anniversary march could be heard echoing from the street.
A confident Bill de Blasio brushed off suggestions that the Democratic nomination is in limbo, telling reporters this afternoon that he’s moving full steam ahead, regardless of the final outcome of the mayoral race’s count.
“I don’t feel like I’m in limbo,” declared Mr. de Blasio, speaking to reporters at a lively rally in Brooklyn celebrating a judge’s ruling to keep Long Island College Hospital open indefinitely, to supporters’ enthusiastic applause.
“Can I ask the audience, ‘Do I look like a guy in limbo?’” he asked them.
Monday Morning Quarterbacking
Mayor Michael Bloomberg revealed this morning that he will not weigh in on the mayor’s race–despite having recently called one of the likely contender’s campaign’s “racist.”
“I decided I am not going to make an endorsement in the race,” said Mr. Bloomberg during a truncated appearance on WOR’s John Gambling show, which marked his first interview since the mayoral primary Tuesday night.
Election Day: 2013apalooza
After an electoral loss, it’s never hard to find pundits who, with the benefit of hindsight, can tell you exactly what went wrong.
Still, the long, brutal decline of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s mayoral campaign stands out. She had dominated the early polls of the race—at one point approaching the 40 percent needed to avoid a runoff. Last night, as the votes poured in, she was ultimately relegated to a distant third, holding just 15.5 percent of the primary vote.
At her somber election party, campaign staffers and surrogates acknowledged they had underestimated voters’ deep frustrations with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and demand for a change in leadership—a message seized on early by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, the decisive winner in the race. “New Yorkers have made it clear that they want a very different direction,” said Ms. Quinn’s campaign spokesman Mike Morey, referring to what he coined “Bloomberg fatigue.”
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who was once considered the heir to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s throne, ended her campaign for mayor on Tuesday night, coming in a distant third place in the polls.
“I want to congratulate my opponents Bill Thompson and Bill de Blasio on a hard-earned victory,” an emotional Ms. Quinn told enthusiastic supports gathered at the swanky Dream Hotel in Chelsea, where the only decoration was a single “Christine Quinn for New York” banner hung above a simple stage.
Former front-runner Christine Quinn spent her final day before the polls open chatting with public school parents in Upper Manhattan and zigzagging through Queens, where she greeted Latino and South Asian voters in the heart of Jackson Heights’s business district, and strolled along major thoroughfares in Forest Hills and Astoria.
Although she trails the poll-leading Public Advocate Bill de Blasio on the eve of the Democratic primary and appears locked in a battle for second place with former Comptroller Bill Thompson, Ms. Quinn was nevertheless confident she would make it into the expected runoff tomorrow night.
The Tall Man Cometh
Well, that’s certainly creative.
A new negative mailer attacking City Council candidate Ritchie Torres features several typical quotes from news reports, as well as a rather curious entry under the The New York Observer‘s logo that actually comes from our comments section.
The question for Tuesday–at least according to two new polls–is not whether Bill de Blasio will come in first, but whether he’ll sail through without a runoff or go head-to-head with Bill Thompson.
The city’s public advocate remains far ahead of his mayoral rivals a day before the primary, according to two new polls out last night and this morning. But one shows Mr. Thompson gaining steam.
Hundreds of supporters of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn gathered outside the historic Stonewall Inn this evening for a get-out-the-vote rally in support of the woman who is vying to be the city’s first female and openly gay mayor.
As Ms. Quinn struggles to regain her footing just four days before the primary, the former front-runner is increasingly pointing to the historic nature of her candidacy. And the rally, with local LGBT officials, minor celebrities and gay rights activists, was intended to do just that.