After holding a closed-door meeting with his key aides and supporters on Thursday night, former Comptroller Bill Thompson (D) “again refused to concede a runoff until more votes are counted.” Thompson: “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.”
Thompson decided to press forward “despite mounting pressure by other union officials, Democratic leaders — and even some of his former supporters — to drop his bid.”
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio (D) “finished Tuesday night holding 40.3 percent of the vote, with 99 percent of precincts reporting — just a hair over the 40 percent threshold needed for him to avoid a runoff. But according to the latest Board of Election tally, there are nearly 80,000 paper ballots yet to be counted, including absentee, military and emergency ballots filled out by voters whose names could not be found on the rolls.”
The Board of Election was scheduled to “begin the standard process of re-canvassing voting machine totals” on Friday morning, although the board won’t begin counting paper ballots until Monday. Thompson “has until Friday at midnight to withdraw his name from the runoff, or he will appear on the ballot”“no matter what”“if Mr. de Blasio falls below 40 percent.” (Politicker.com)
De Blasio needs roughly a third of the outstanding ballots to clinch the nomination without a runoff. (New York Times)
DE BLASIO SHOWS OFF SUPPORT: At a rally on the steps of City Hall on Thursday, de Blasio “was joined at the event by some erstwhile supporters of” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D), who finished third in the primary, and “at least two supporters of” of Thompson. (Capital New York)
At a press conference on Thursday, Quinn said: “I’m going to enthusiastically support the Democratic candidate. And I think it’s clear to most folks that that person is Bill de Blasio.” (Wall Street Journal)
ON SECOND THOUGHT: Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) “said on Friday morning that he had decided not to make an endorsement in the general election for mayor, a surprise announcement in a campaign that has become something of a referendum on his legacy.” The announcement ended weeks of speculation that Bloomberg might decide to endorse MTA chairman Joe Lhota (R) because of the extent to which de Blasio has framed his campaign as a rebuke of Bloomberg’s policies. Bloomberg: “I don’t want to do anything that complicates it for the next mayor, and that’s one of the reasons I’ve decided I’m just not going to make an endorsement in the race.” (New York Times)
GETTING STARTED: Lhota and de Blasio “embraced the role of fierce rivals on Thursday, displaying the testy tenor and deep ideological divide of a general election matchup even” as the Democratic primary results remain unofficial. Lhota promised a “takedown” of de Blasio, accusing the Democrat of dividing the city with his “tale of two cities” campaign theme and of promoting “a repudiation of everything great that’s happened over the last 20 years.”
“It did not take long for Mr. de Blasio to fire back. Speaking at a campaign rally with labor supporters in Brooklyn, he said his critics had failed to address the most serious economic issues facing the city.” De Blasio: “Acceptance of inequality, turning the other way when there’s inequality, that’s not an American value, and that’s not the values of the city of New York.” (New York Times)
— Kevin Brennan
What We're Following See More »
A Russian government think tank run by Putin loyalists "developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system." Two confidential documents from the Putin-backed Institute for Strategic Studies, obtained by U.S. intelligence, provide "the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election."
"The FBI last year used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump's campaign as part of the justification" to monitor Carter Page, who was then a defense adviser to the Trump campaign. "The dossier has also been cited by FBI Director James Comey in some of his briefings to members of Congress in recent weeks."
"The Air Force is set to deploy its high-tech, fifth-generation F-35A fighter jets to Europe this weekend as part of an effort to assure U.S. allies there who are worried about Russian aggression." The new, state-of-the-art fighters will train with European air units. "The Pentagon noted that the deployment had been long planned, meaning it was not a reaction to recent increasing tensions between the United States and Russia," although a statement noted the move is part of the "European Reassurance Initiative," which began three years ago when Russia annexed Crimea.