U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D−Forest Hills) officially announced he is dropping out of the mayoral race in an online New York Times op−ed piece Tuesday night, citing concerns about being outspent by deep−pocketed Mayor Michael Bloomberg and following a vote by the Queens Democratic Party to endorse his rival, city Comptroller Bill Thompson.
“The mayor is expected to spend $80 million of his own money in the race, more than 10 times what candidates who have not opted out of the city’s public campaign finance program, as Mr. Bloomberg has, can spend in a primary,” Weiner wrote in The Times piece. “With spending like that, regular deba†es about real issues will probably take a back seat to advertising.”
The congressman’s exit leaves Thompson and City Councilman Tony Avella as the only Democratic candidates left in a race that will pit one of them against Bloomberg, an independent running on the GOP and Independence Party lines.
Weiner’s op−ed piece came after a report from City Hall News Tuesday afternoon that said he had decided to end his bid for mayor.
Queens County Democrats voted to endorse Brooklyn native Thompson for mayor Tuesday morning, according to a source at the Democrats’ meeting.
With the nod from the Queens County Democrats Tuesday, Thompson has racked up endorsements from the five Democratic county organizations.
According to the City Hall report, a source told the publication Weiner will speak of his decision to end his bid for mayor at a news conference Wednesday in Brooklyn.
Bloomberg has far outspent his opponents and so far has doled out $18.5 million of his own money for his third bid for mayor, campaign finance records revealed. Weiner raised $5.1 million and spent $975,000, Thompson has raised a total of $5.1 million and spent $1.7 million and Avella has raised $248,270 and spent $116,664, according to campaign records.
Queens County Democrats also endorsed Councilman John Liu (D−Flushing) for comptroller, Councilman Eric Gioia (D−Woodside) for city public advocate, and Borough President Helen Marshall for the position she now holds.
Sources at Tuesday’s meeting confirmed the Democratic group also threw their support behind all the incumbents currently running for the Council, including Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D−East Elmhurst) for the 24th CD Councilwoman Helen Sears (D−Jackson Heights) for the 25th CD; Councilman James Gennaro (D−Fresh Meadows) for his 24th CD; Councilman Thomas White (D−South Ozone Park) for the 28th CD; Councilman Leroy Comrie (D−St. Albans) for the 27th CD; and Councilman James Sanders (D−Laurelton) for the 31st CD. For the seats being vacated, the group endorsed Community Board 11 Chairman Jerry Iannece, a Democratic candidate for the 19th CD; John Choe, Liu’s chief of staff, for the 20th CD; Deirdre Feerick for the 26th District seat now held by Gioia; Karen Koslowitz for the 29th CD, which she represented for 11 years until 2001; and Community Board 6 District Manager Frank Galluscio for the 32nd District seat now held by Councilman Eric Ulrich (R−Ozone Park.)
Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e−mail at agustafson
©2009 Community News Group
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