Comptroller John Liu may be facing the scrutiny that comes with two associates being convicted of an attempted fraud scheme on his behalf, but his mayoral campaign is still plugging along. Indeed, Mr. Liu will be endorsed by Brooklyn Assemblyman Peter Abbate tomorrow morning, according to a Democratic operative with knowledge of the event.
Last night, the labor-backed Working Families Party announced their support in a host of races across the city, beginning with Tish James for public advocate and working their way down to open-seat council campaigns.
The endorsement for Ms. James, a Brooklyn councilwoman, is particularly notable because, with a less sizable campaign war chest than her top rivals, Ms. James’ strategy relies on unifying union forces. There are two other citywide races this year, but without a strong labor consensus for mayor and a virtually uncontested race for comptroller, the public advocate competition is relatively unique.
State Sen. Dan Squadron’s campaign for public advocate continued to hum along today as he announced six endorsements from Albany’s lower legislative chamber: Assemblymembers Deborah Glick, Brian Kavanagh, Micah Kellner, Dan Quart, Joan Millman and Nily Rozic.
As this year’s elections begin to heat up ahead of the September primaries, the United Food and Commercial Workers has continued to weigh in. Today, the union announced their endorsements in about two dozen City Council and borough presidency races across the city.
“New York City needs strong, aggressive, and dedicated leaders in the City Council that will champion progressive legislation and fight hard for our members,” Bruce Both, the union’s president, said in a statement. “They have earned our support and loyalty and we will work hard to see that they are re-elected.”
The New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, a relatively small union known for punching above its weight when it comes to electoral politics, has picked their candidate in the race to replace Council Speaker Chris Quinn: West Side community board chairman Corey Johnson. Josh Gold, HTC’s political director, told Politicker that the race of particular importance to the union due to the growth of hotels there in neighborhoods like Midtown South and the Meatpacking District.
“Corey Johnson has been a community leader on the West Side for over a decade,” Mr. Gold added in a statement. “He has fought for quality jobs, permanent affordable housing, community-minded development and raising the quality of life for residents in the neighborhoods he seeks to represent.”
Over the weekend, the influential Working Families Party announced their support in a number of key races across the city, sending a signal of labor support as candidates vie for a seat in the City Council next year.
“New Yorkers have a huge opportunity to decide the direction of our city. It’s time to choose whether we’ll be a city that caters to the rich and powerful 1%, or whether New York City can work for all of us,” Bill Lipton, the party’s deputy director, said in a statement. “Every day New Yorkers can count on WFP-endorsed candidates to stand up for all of us.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg would really prefer if reporters would cease inquiring about which candidate he’ll ultimately endorse in the race to replace him this year. And he conveyed that message again and again at an unrelated press conference earlier this morning.
“I know who I’m going to vote for and I may change my mind between now and then,” Mr. Bloomberg declared at one point. “If I do, you’re not going to know about it.”
“Uh, let me–” Mr. Bloomberg paused.
“Wrap up,” Marc La Vorgna, Mr. Bloomberg’s press secretary, jumped in. The mayor, however, wasn’t about to wrap up.
This afternoon, Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s mayoral campaign officially announced Coney Island Councilman Domenic Recchia’s endorsement, presenting it as validation of her leadership in neighborhoods across the city that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
“I am thrilled to support her bid for Mayor,” Mr. Recchia said in a statement.
Although almost all of the city’s elected officials have stayed mum on this year’s mayoral election, especially on the Democratic side of the aisle, two new politicians have already thrown their support behind different candidates this week. Brooklyn Councilman Charles Barron endorsed Comptroller John Liu for the city’s top job and Manhattan Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney did the same for Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
“I think he brings energy. I think he brings real commitment to working class families. He’s a fighter against Wall Street,” Mr. Barron told Politicker before Mr. Liu’s Sunday announcement event. “I think he’s done good as comptroller to make sure that we got an equitable share of the contracts and pension investments. I think he’ll be the best candidate.”
Mr. Barron, of course, has said a raft of controversial statements during his tenure in office.
Although he won’t beat the record of the man he’s vying to replace, at 24 years old, Ritchie Torres would be one of the youngest members of City Council ever if he’s elected later this year. And so far at least, it seems he’s positioning himself well to do exactly that, raising $60,0000 in his latest filing and simultaneously announcing the endorsement of the Hotel Trades Council, a relatively small union known for punching above its weight.
“I am so appreciative for this critical endorsement. The Hotel Trades Council has one of the premier get out the vote operations in the state and I’m excited to have them on my team,” Mr. Torres, a staffer for neighboring Councilman Jimmy Vacca, said in a statement.