Mayor Endorses Three State Democrats
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Mayor Bloomberg is making his mark on the upcoming state Democratic primaries, issuing endorsements in three Senate and Assembly races.
Mr. Bloomberg announced yesterday that he is supporting Council Member Simcha Felder, who is running to unseat state Senator Kevin Parker, who represents parts of Brooklyn. He also handed out an endorsement to Daniel Squadron, who is challenging incumbent state Senator Martin Connor, who represents parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn. And the mayor endorsed Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat, an incumbent who represents Manhattan and who faces a primary opponent in Council Member Miguel Martinez.
The mayor’s move to support three Democratic candidates is puzzling to some observers, as he has lent aggressive financial support to the state Senate Republican Party, which is in danger of losing its majority.
A professor of public policy at Baruch College, Douglas Muzzio, said the endorsements reflect the mayor’s personal relationship with the candidates receiving his support. Each candidate has prominently backed at least one of the mayor’s top legislative priorities.
“I don’t think there’s any ideology or grand legislative strategy behind it,” he said. “I think this is Loyalty 101.”
Mr. Felder, whom the mayor described yesterday as “an independent thinker,” voted for Mr. Bloomberg’s congestion pricing bill in the City Council, which eventually faltered in the state Legislature.
Mr. Squadron has generally supported mayoral control of schools, while his opponent, Mr. Connor, has said he would favor heavily modifying or even scrapping the policy altogether. In endorsing Mr. Squadron, the mayor credited the candidate with “helping move hundreds of millions of dollars out of our school bureaucracies and into city classrooms.”
Mr. Espaillat backed a successful push by Mr. Bloomberg to reopen the Gansevoort waste transfer station in Manhattan, helping to overcome opposition from a group of state lawmakers who feared the facility would be a blight on local parks.
It is unclear how Mr. Bloomberg’s endorsements will affect the outcome of the September 9 primary. He has yet to pledge financial resources to any of the candidates, and some observers have suggested that his support is not likely to have an impact on the races.
A Republican candidate Mr. Bloomberg campaigned for last year, Greg Camp, was defeated in a special election by a Democratic assemblyman, Micah Kellner.