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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union

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Thompson Faces Pressure to Bow Out

New York City's Democratic power brokers moved quickly after Tuesday's primary to pressure second-place finisher Bill Thompson to avoid a runoff with first-place finisher Bill de Blasio. “I don’t think there’s much appetite within the Democratic Party to have a fight here,” Merryl Tisch, Thompson's campaign chair, told The New York Times. Rev. Al Sharpton also encouraged Thompson to abandon his bid. De Blasio finished election night with 40.3 percent of the vote--just over the threshold to avoid a runoff but paper ballots have yet to be tallied. Thompson has said he wants to make sure every vote is counted but the city's board of election won't begin counting paper ballots until next week. Labor groups quickly moved to consolidate their support around de Blasio on Wednesday. Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota would likely benefit from a bruising runoff battle between Thompson and de Blasio. 

 


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Today is primary day in the city. To find out who the candidates are, what offices they're running for, and which parties and districts they're in, check our Guide To The Last Minute Voter. You can view information on specific candidates or whole races, read exclusive interviews, find out what district you reside in, and more. Make sure you have all the details you need before heading to the polls.

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About to lose a major ally in Mayor Michael Bloomberg a group of business leaders and real estate groups have poured nearly $7 million into city council races. The Jobs For New York political action committee has spent $275,000 per council race on average in an effort to extend Bloomberg's pro-business policies past his term. The group has changed the dynamic of races that are normally based on community issues and connections. The PAC is organized by the Real Estate Board of New York that counts developers such as Larry Silverstein and Daniel Tishman as its members. Union's that would benefit from development projects are also part of the group. Tenants PAC, a group that represents tenant interests, has refused to endorse any candidate who refuses to condemn Jobs For New York. 

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters yesterday that he won't weigh in on the New York City mayoral primary after receiving multiple questions about Public Advocate and Democratic mayoral frontrunner Bill de Blasio's plan to raise taxes on the wealthy to fund school programs. "I am going to stay out of the New York City mayoral," Cuomo said. "Let's find out who the mayor is and what policies they actually put forth, and then let's take a look at them and consider them, and we'll have an opinion." De Blasio, who has a long relationship with Cuomo, has publically pressured Cuomo on plans to save a number of failing Brooklyn hospitals. Cuomo has avoided major appearances in the city this summer--including the West Indian Day Parade. Cuomo has held numerous events upstate and in Western New York. Some pundits see Cuomo's reluctance to engage in the race as a way for him to avoid having his name associated with the likes of Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer. Cuomo told reporters yesterday that things aren't that complicated. "I'm not registered to vote in New York City, so I don't think it's a situation where it's appropriate for me to express a preference." 

 


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The final debate for the Democratic candidates for mayor last night was used primarily as a means to attack Bill de Blasio, who has become the front runner in the polls. He was hit on issues like his support for a tax hike on the rich to pay for prekindergarten classes - which his opponents point out needs Albany's approval. De Blasio was attacked for supporting expansion of term limits when he was running for Speaker. His late support for a living wage bill was another source of contention, as was his acceptance of earmarks. The candidates did, however, elaborate on their stances towards union contract negotiations a bit. De Blasio said the city couldn't afford to give the unions all the retroactive raises they want, while most of them said they wouldn't raise taxes to pay the workers. The NY Times published a useful fact checking piece for their claims throughout the debate here.

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