Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has dropped out of the 2013 mayoral race and will instead be pursuing the position of city comptroller.
"This is an incredibly consequential office, and it's never been more important than it is today," Stringer told Metro.
Stringer pointed to his 20 years of experience in government, and particularly the 50 investigative reports his office has produced on government spending in the city as some of the credentials that have prepared him to face the enormous financial challenges he sees the city facing.
"We've got budget gaps as far as the eye can see, and unemployment stuck at 9 or 10 percent," Stringer said. "People are worried about the economy, about how to put food on the table and pay mortgages, and they feel like they're paying more in taxes than they're getting back in services."
"I want to make sure we get the best bang for every tax dollar spent," Stringer vowed.
Although he doesn't credit the storm entirely for the reassessment that led him to switch his political aspirations from mayor to comptroller, he said that witnessing the damage dealt to New Yorkers in Breezy Point, Staten Island, Coney Island, and his own constituency in Lower Manhattan, emphasized the challenges the city faces. In a post-Sandy economy, the greatest issue is perhaps not how to rebuild the city, but how to pay for it, he said.
"It became clear to me in discussing with supporters and friends that I could make a real difference at this point in time in the city as comptroller," Stringer explained. "There are many ways to make a contribution, and I think comptroller is my best fit."
A NY1 and Marist poll last month showed Stringer with 6 percent of support in the mayor's race. Council Speaker Christine Quinn had 23 percent support. Four of 10 Democrats polled said their vote was not yet set.
He will now face Manhattan Councilman Daniel Garodnick for the comptroller role.
The other candidates for mayor remain in the race -- Quinn, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Comptroller John Liu and former comptroller William Thompson, who ran against Mayor Michael Bloomberg once before.