Thompson clears way for de Blasio to run for NY mayor
De Blasio will face Republican candidate Joseph J Lhota in a general election
New York City mayoral candidate Bill Thompson, left, concedes the Democratic nomination to Bill de Blasio for New York City mayor’s race. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters
William C Thompson jnr withdrew from the race for mayor of New York yesterday, ending his second bid to run the city and making Bill de Blasio the undisputed Democratic nominee.
Mr Thompson endorsed Mr de Blasio at an 11am news conference at City Hall. Mr de Blasio joined Mr Thompson at the news conference, along with governor Andrew Cuomo, in an effort to demonstrate Democratic Party unity.
“I am proud to stand here today and support Bill de Blasio to be the next mayor of the city of New York,’’ Mr Thompson said.
Mr Thompson’s decision clears the way for a general election contest in which Mr de Blasio, currently the city’s elected public advocate, will face Joseph J Lhota, a Republican who previously served as chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Mr Thompson won just 26 per cent of the vote in last week’s nine-way Democratic primary, leaving him in second place behind Mr de Blasio, who had 40 per cent, in unofficial results released after the election.
But the city requires a run-off primary election if no candidate wins at least 40 per cent of the vote, and Mr Thompson had professed some hope that as the lever voting machine results are double-checked, and tens of thousands of uncounted paper ballots are tallied, Mr de Blasio’s total might dip below that threshold.
The board of elections worked through the weekend reviewing the results from the more than 5,000 lever voting machines that were used in the primary. A spokeswoman for the elections board said on Sunday night that adjusted results were expected to be released sometime yesterday. The board was also scheduled to begin reviewing the paper ballots.
Mr Thompson called the vote-counting process “a disgrace”. But he had concluded, those close to him said, that even if he were to qualify for a run-off against Mr de Blasio, his chances of victory were slim.
For Mr Thompson (60), a former city comptroller who improbably came within five percentage points of beating New York mayor Michael Bloomberg four years ago, this year’s race was a humbling experience.
With his sober style and centrist positions, he never seemed to ignite the passions of the Democratic electorate. And in a development that frustrated his campaign, he failed to win a majority of black voters, even though he was the sole black candidate in the race. – (New York Times service)