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.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn officially endorsed Bill de Blasio’s mayoral campaign this morning, following her bruising loss last week in the Democratic primary.
Standing on the steps of City Hall flanked by her former union and political backers, Ms. Quinn–who sparred incessantly with Mr. de Blasio on the trail–put on a happy face, laughing and joking as she gave her formal rival her blessings.
Republican mayoral contender Joe Lhota congratulated Bill de Blasio on securing his party’s expected nomination this afternoon and said he’s looking forward to a more mature and vigorous debate.
After weeks of being attacked by his ex-Republican challenger billionaire John Catsimatidis–most recently for saying he would not have shut down subway service to save two stray kittens on the tracks–Mr. Lhota said he was ready to go one-on-one against a candidate who has a dramatically different vision for the City of New York.
With the the Democratic and Republican tickets now settled, third-party contender Adolfo Carrión Jr. is ready to jump into the fray.
In a harshly-worded statement this afternoon, the former Bronx Borough President and Independence Party candidate slamming his rivals, Democrat Bill de Blasio and Republican Joe Lhota as “divisive” and “out-of-touch” and claiming they represent the “politics of neglect.”
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.
Some politicians adore campaigning; buttonholing commuters, making the church rounds to share their visions for the city and having heart-to-hearts at senior centers.
And then there are candidates like Joe Lhota, the leading Republican running for mayor.
Chatting up passersbys recently outside a subway stop on the Upper East Side, Mr. Lhota’s energetic hellos and handshakes were interspersed with awkward pauses and commentary, as he stood with his hands on his hips, arms framing a bulky white shirt and blue striped tie.
“I’m leaving as soon as it starts raining,” he said to his staff, only half-joking, during a lull between handshakes under an increasingly threatening sky.