Bloomberg staying “silent” on NYC mayoral campaign
New York, NEW YORK—Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) has refused to endorse any of the remaining candidates for NYC mayor, choosing instead to focus on his mayoral duties for the duration of his term in office. Bloomberg, in a radio interview on WOR 710, said he wanted to ensure a “world-class transition” and would prefer to make sure the next mayor and his team can “hit the ground running” rather than “complicate” things for the next administration.
Bloomberg said he prefers to avoid “partisan politics,” expressing that he wants the next mayor to do well.
Candidates Bill de Blasio (D) and Joe Lhota (R) displayed little public disappointment over Bloomberg’s stance. According to The New York Times Lhota said he wants to show that he is “different" from Bloomberg or former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, while de Blasio called Bloomberg’s decision “admirable and appropriate.”
CBS New York reported that Lhota’s chief advisor, Jake Menges, said that his candidate's campaign would be "happy to have his (Bloomberg's) support" prior to the announcement, though Lhota said he was not seeking an endorsement from anyone.
Democratic political consultant, Hank Sheinkopf views Bloomberg’s decision as a favorable one for Lhota. In a radio interview on WCBS 880, Sheinkopf shared that the announcement freed Lhota from negative associations with Bloomberg.
Though Lhota has criticized some of Bloomberg’s policies, his political divide with Bloomberg is narrow compared to De Blasio’s. According to The Associated Press, Bloomberg said de Blasio’s campaign included racist tactics due to the politician's alleged tendency to call upon his family's ethnicity to win popular votes. According to Bloomberg News, de Blasio has attacked the city’s status quo under Bloomberg.
Bloomberg’s decision did not surprise everyone, including The King’s College Republicans' Director of Communications, Charlie Freeman (’15).
“As an Independent, Mr. Bloomberg probably has little incentive to endorse any candidate, Republican or Democrat, lest he further alienate himself from New Yorkers by taking sides, especially in the wake of his highly unpopular Nanny State tactics (like regulating the size of soft drinks, etc.),” Freeman said.
The Associated Press contrasted this situation with Bloomberg’s first campaign, in which former Mayor Giuliani endorsed Bloomberg, thereby significantly assisting him in the race.
It is difficult to tell what kind of effect, if any, Bloomberg’s announcement has had on the race because the most recent poll taken this past Tuesday was the first since the primary. The poll conducted by NBC New York, has de Blasio at 65 percent and Lhota at 22 percent.
Sixty-eight percent of voters expressed their desire that the next mayor "deliver a break from the policies of Mayor Bloomberg,” NBC reported, perhaps confirming the popular belief that a Bloomberg endorsement would hurt the recipient.
The candidates must rely on their own campaigning and any potential endorsements from other parties until the election on Nov. 5.