News (USA)

Quinn gives hearty endorsement to fellow Democrat de Blasio for NYC mayor

NEW YORK — City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, once the most bitter of foes, stood side by side in front of City Hall on Tuesday as she backed him for mayor, sealing the endorsement with a hearty hug.

Mary Altaffer, AP
Democratic mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio (center) and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn during a news conference joining Democrats together Tuesday.

The scene was unimaginable for much of the year, which de Blasio spent relentlessly attacking Quinn, the former Democratic front-runner, for her close ties to independent Mayor Michael Bloomberg and for the key role she played in allowing Bloomberg to seek a third consecutive term.

But the searing barbs and accusations have been set aside now that the Democratic primary has been settled and the party unifies around its nominee, de Blasio, who did his part by downplaying the issue by which he had defined Quinn.

“We had a difference on term limits, and that’s fine,” de Blasio said.

Quinn’s help allowed Bloomberg to change the city charter so he could run again in 2009. Voters repealed that change the following year.

De Blasio became the Democratic nominee Monday when the primary’s runner-up, ex-comptroller Bill Thompson, bowed out instead of waiting to see if a final vote tally would reveal de Blasio’s support fell below the 40 percent mark needed to avoid an automatic runoff.

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Quinn, who was bidding to become the city’s first female and first openly gay mayor, was atop the polls for much of the campaign only to plummet to third in last week’s primary.

She offered a full-throated endorsement of de Blasio, saying she was “proud” to support him and urged her supporters, including several unions, to do the same. She reneged on her frequent campaign attack line that de Blasio wasn’t to be trusted.

“I trust Bill de Blasio, and I believe he will be a terrific mayor for the City of New York,” she said.

De Blasio will face Republican nominee Joe Lhota and independent candidates in the Nov. 5 general election.

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