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Opponents Ready to Jump in If Probes Result in Charges
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Bill de Blasio is almost guaranteed a second term as Mayor of New York City in this year’s fall election. Almost — unless a looming criminal investigation into fund-raising practices derails his candidacy and a party rival jumps into the breach.
De Blasio starts with a huge advantage over any potential Republican rival, counting on New York City’s overwhelming Democratic majority, which includes a coalition of labor unions and minority voters. In last year’s presidential election, 80% of city residents cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton. In the Trump era, de Blasio has aligned himself with the left wing of the party faithfully, joining rallies and protests against the president and establishing himself as a national leader on immigration and policing.
Still, ongoing federal and state investigations into his fund-raising practices have put de Blasio’s reelection bid on the rocks. “The mayor’s attacks on President Trump will have little impact on his own electability if there are federal or state criminal charges against the mayor or anyone close to him,” Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic campaign strategist, said.
If the investigation should implicate de Blasio, three top Democrats have suggested they would jump into the race: City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and City Councilman Rory Lancman.
A source familiar with Stringer’s deliberations, who spoke to Mishpacha on condition of anonymity, said Stringer will join the race if the mayor is indicted.
Lancman, a Jewish councilman from Queens, has raised $409,249 for an “undeclared” position, allowing him to take in the maximum contribution limit for candidates running for citywide office.
In an interview with Mishpacha, Lancman confirmed that he’s waiting to make a decision based on the outcome of the investigations. “Nobody knows what the political landscape is going to be in 2017 because of the investigations and because of the decisions that have to be made by people who are above me in the political food chain,” he said. “And so all I’m doing is having the resources necessary to be able to put myself forward for higher office.” (excerpted) —Jacob Kornbluh is the political correspondent for Jewish Insider.
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