Citing party unity, Bill Thompson concedes to Bill de Blasio

Bill Thompson and Bill de Blasio appeared to be fast friends after Thompson conceded the primary to de Blasio and threw his support behind the Democratic frontrunner. Credit: Bess Adler
Bill Thompson and Bill de Blasio appeared to be fast friends after Thompson conceded the primary to de Blasio and threw his support behind the Democratic frontrunner.
Credit: Bess Adler

Bill Thompson officially ended his second mayoral run Monday morning, taking to the steps of City Hall to throw his support behind Bill de Blasio.

As the Republican party coalesces behind Joe Lhota, with John Catsimatidis this weekend rescinding his bid to run on a third party line in the general election, it appeared New York City Democrats are feeling a sense of urgency to do so as well. Some Thompson supporters had already lined up behind de Blasio last week, citing that very concern.

“There is nothing more beautiful than Democratic unity!” de Blasio declared as he accepted Thompson’s concession and endorsement.

Governor Andrew Cuomo was also on hand to praise Thompson for stepping back in the interest of party unity. Cuomo noted it is “often more difficult to step back than to step forward,” and applauded Thompson for putting aside ambition in the interest of re-taking City Hall for the Democratic Party.

“I believe the best days for New York City are ahead and today we take the first step,” Cuomo announced.

And referring to de Blasio as “a great New Yorker,” Thompson bowed to party unity, granting “the best way to return fairness and decency, justice and dignity, hope and equality to every neighborhood in New York is to return a progressive to City Hall.”

“Is it a difficult decision? Sure,” Thompson said later of stepping down. “But it’s the right decision.”

But Thompson’s ire at the Board of Elections was not diminished, seemed to play a role in his decision as well. He pointedly and repeatedly condemned the BOE for the delay in counting ballots which he said made it “impossible to even campaign let alone offer a meaningful choice to Democratic voters” in a potential runoff.

“Today, almost a week after the primary, we still don’t know the outcome of the election,” Thompson fumed. “We don’t know if there should be a runoff, or if there shouldn’t be a runoff. We don’t know how many votes I got or even how many votes are cast. And we’re not talking about a few voters here and there. We’re talking about tens of thousands of votes. That’s a disgrace.”

Citing the same concerns outlined by a lawyer for his campaign in a letter to the Campaign Finance Committee, Thompson said that the time the BOE has taken and will likely continue to take in counting all of the votes makes it “impossible to even campaign, let alone offer a meaningful choice to Democratic voters.”

“It’s by no means clear when they will be counted,” Thompson fumed. “For all we know, given the Board of Elections, they may not finish counting the paper ballots until the runoff, or until after it’s over, or until a few days before.”

“I’m thinking about the future of this city,” he added. “At this point, putting someone in City Hall who holds the same values I have, I believe is important.”

Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Teachers Federation and one of Thompson’s most vocal and active supporters on his campaign, also expressed frustration with the BOE, citing the delay as a pragmatic reason to line up behind de Blasio.

“When it became clearer to us that the Board of Elections could not get this count done, I mean, that’s a real concern,” Mulgrew said. ”Remember, the machine canvas was supposed to be done by Friday evening. It’s Monday. They’re not done. Now they have to count over 70,000 pieces of paper and they haven’t finished the machine count?”

 

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Man dies trapped in elevator shaft at Bronx…

A man in his twenties died after being trapped in an elevator shaft of a Bronx building early Monday, police said.

International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…