This issue, I’m fulfilling a long-held goal of publishing a column that is a bunch of little segments!
There’s some uncertainty about how heavy an albatross Bill de Blasio will be in next year’s mayoral primary. Seems like de Blasio was relatively popular with Democratic primary voters for the first five years of his tenure while other New Yorkers were luke-warm on him at best. Now it feels like everyone has turned on him, though it’s possible he is still popular with some parts of the Democratic base.
Why they’d still like him is anybody’s guess.
Ironically, or perhaps predictably, de Blasio’s unpopularity will likely harm the female candidates in the race more than the male ones. Except for Dianne Morales, all the female candidates in or exploring the race — Maya Wiley, Kathryn Garcia, and Loree Sutton — worked for de Blasio. Meanwhile, none of the potential male candidates — Eric Adams, Scott Stringer, Shaun Donovan, or Ray McGuire — have. The candidate for whom this is likely to be the biggest issue is Wiley, who employs several former de Blasio staffers as advisors and once referred to herself as the mayor’s “ideological soulmate.”
There’s de Blasio-related uncertainty in the race for Brooklyn Borough President as well. Will First Lady Chirlane McCray run? It’s been rumored for 10 months, since Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte replaced Frank Seddio as head of the Brooklyn Democratic Party. I polled 10 smart insiders and they’re now in total disagreement about whether she’ll run. It’s starting to seem late.
I think McCray not running relies on her realizing how fundamentally unpopular she and the mayor are right now. How’s that going to happen? Or maybe I’m wrong and they’re still popular. I do believe she might still try to run — but if so, she’ll drop out by the time voting starts, and so she maybe matters less in all these calculations.
There’s also a rumor that tall, affable Councilman Robert Cornegy will be withdrawing from the borough president’s race. He’s raised a decent amount of money for the campaign, but the last disclosure reports show he had to spend a large amount of it on fundraising. Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon just jumped into the race, and Councilman Antonio Reynoso has just received the endorsements of Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and State Sen. Julia Salazar. Hospital executive Khari Edwards and Councilman Mathieu Eugene are also expected to run — maybe Councilman Mark Treyger still will, too.
Bay Ridge Councilman Justin Brannan’s ambition to be City Council Speaker is no secret. He almost certainly can’t get there if all the citywide elected officials in 2022 are male. Will this cause him to support Maya Wiley for mayor?
Is being City Council Speaker even worth it anymore? What happened to the subsequent careers of all the previous speakers? What happened to the subsequent careers of Bill de Blasio and Jumaane Williams after they each failed to become speaker?
I’m Justin’s friend so I’m rooting for his loss.
Nick Rizzo is a former Democratic District Leader and a political consultant who lives in Greenpoint. Follow him on Twitter @NickRizzo.