Today’s runoff election is expected to draw a dismal turnout with as few as 100,000 of the city’s registered Democrats casting their ballots in the public advocate’s race between State Senator Daniel Squadron and Councilwoman Letitia James.
And that fact was clear this morning as voters began heading to the polls. Instead of the long lines and broken machines that have marred recent election days, voters instead reported lonely, near-empty auditoriums where only a handful of ballots had been cast.
Occupy the mayor's race
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.
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.
Exit Stage Right
Bill Thompson will concede the mayor’s race today and endorse front-runner Bill de Blasio, according to sources familiar with the situation.
Mr. Thompson is set to make the announcement at a 11 a.m. City Hall press conference, amid growing pressure from Democratic Party brass–and even some of his own backers—to bow out of the race to avoid a contentious runoff contest and unite the party ahead of November’s general election.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who reportedly helped to broker the deal, will attend the event, a source confirmed.
Rev. Al Sharpton welcomed “presumptive” Democratic mayoral nominee Bill de Blasio to his Saturday National Action Network rally this morning, where he declared that the identity politics of 20 years ago had given way to a new reality.
“What the election showed the other night is that a lot of the identity politics of 20 years ago, 30 years ago, has now become identity politics of policy,” he told the audience. “Bill Thompson did very well in some white areas, Bill de Blasio did well in some black areas. You can no longer take yesterday’s maps for today’s politics.”
Mayoral front-runner Bill de Blasio is getting some love from his old bosses: Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Speaking to reporters at a rally celebrating a court ruling that will keep Long Island College Hospital open indefinitely, Mr. de Blasio noted the fact that both Bill and Hillary had called him to offer congratulations after dominating Tuesday night’s Democratic primary.
Anthony Weiner dipped his toe back into the mayor’s race this morning, reflecting on Bill Thompson’s decision to stick it out for a possible runoff election
“Lots of Deja Vu from ’05 watching @BillThompsonNYC figure out runoff call,” tweeted Mr. Weiner. “Even same players. Freddy, Cassidy.”
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.
standing his ground
Despite mounting pressure to drop out of the mayor’s race, Bill Thompson emerged from a meeting with his highest-profile backers tonight and again refused to concede a runoff until more votes are counted.
“It continues to become clearer and clearer that there are tens of thousands of votes that are out there. We believe that the votes should be counted,” Mr. Thompson told reporters, standing in the lobby of the teacher’s union headquarters with his wife and a gaggle of supporters, including Congressmen Charlie Rangel and Hakeem Jeffries.
One of Bill Thompson’s most loyal backers is urging his man to stay in the mayor’s race.
Councilman Lew Fidler told Politicker Thursday that he still thinks Mr. Thompson can win a runoff, even as the Democratic establishment–and even many former Thompson backers–begin to rally around first-place finisher Bill de Blasio.