Dear Commons Community,
The Associated Press is reporting that New York City mayoral candidate Bill Thompson conceded the Democratic primary race to front-runner Bill de Blasio earlier today, averting a potential runoff and clearing the way for de Blasio to campaign for the general election.
Thompson endorsed de Blasio at City Hall, saying he was proud to support him as the party’s nominee.
The potential runoff had loomed as another act in the Democratic drama over choosing a successor to three-term Mayor Michael Bloomberg – a fight that would keep Democrats tilting at each other while Republicans and independents looked ahead to the general election. With Thompson, the Democrats’ 2009 mayoral nominee, out of the race, de Blasio will face Republican nominee Joe Lhota on Nov. 5.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo played a role in brokering the deal, according to two people familiar with Thompson’s decision who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the announcement.
United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew, who supported Thompson said he’s now backing de Blasio.
“Clearly we need to change direction,” Mulgrew said, citing the explosion in the number of kids in homeless shelters. “Something is horribly wrong in [this] city.”
Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota has said he would continue current Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s education policies.
“That’s all I need to know once I hear that,” Mulgrew said, explaining his support for de Blasio.
The mayoral race is now on!