Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said today that if the Ray Kelly running for mayor rumors turn out to be true, the dynamics of the mayoral race would certainly change. And some candidates gearing up for their campaigns are probably afraid of that, Stringer, an expected contender himself, told the Voice today.
In 2013 election news this week, rumors surfaced that Police Commissioner Ray Kelly might be interested in running for mayor to replace Mike Bloomberg. Regardless of whether he’s actually considering it, some noteworthy Republican pols and other rich people are encouraging Kelly to throw his name into the mix.
If Kelly were to run as a Republican (and that’s a big, big if), it would certainly change the dynamics of the 2013 mayoral race, which thus far is shaping up to be one that would be decided in the Democratic primary.
Earlier this week, the Voice caught up with three expected candidates –City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and former comptroller Bill Thompson to get their takes on Kelly’s potential mayoral bid (which the New York Post already is aggressively pushing, in its editorials and indirectly through its extensive coverage).
De Blasio and Thompson pretty much brushed aside our question, declining to comment on theoretical campaigns (de Blasio did say that he’s a good Police Commissioner). Quinn, however, said that the next mayor needs Kelly as the Commissioner since he’s done such a good job.
Today, we got a chance to bug Scott Stringer and City Comptroller John Liu, two more expected candidates, about the Ray Kelly rumors. Both offered some interesting comments on the potential candidacy.
After an event this morning on refrigerators (what else?), the Voice asked Stringer how a Kelly campaign might influence the mayoral race.
“Sure it would impact the race. He’s a great Police Commissioner. He has a record of service to this city that is very extraordinary, so when Ray Kelly’s name comes up, you treat that with great respect,” Stringer said.
We followed up, noting that some potential candidates (Quinn — though we didn’t reference her directly) have taken the stance that it’s in the best interest of the city that Kelly keep his current job.
Stringer replied: “Well I think they’re probably a little scared to death he would run. You know me, I’m doing my thing. I have my focus, so that stuff doesn’t enter into my consideration.”
Liu, at an event in Staten Island this afternoon, also complimented Kelly.
“Commissioner Kelly’s been rumored for a long time — not just that this week — as a possible candidate for mayor, and Commissioner Kelly has a lot of great accomplishments under his belt,” Liu told us. “This election is going to be about a number of different issues facing New Yorkers, and it’s also a Democratic process, so the more candidates and choices voters have, the better the end result will be for the people of New York.”
We asked him the same question about the stance of “some potential mayoral candidates” that the city needs Kelly as its police commissioner.
“I’m wondering who said that?” Liu interjected (we told him it was Quinn).
He responded, “The mayor’s election is so important to the people of New York that the people should be deciding that election on the merits and qualifications of the candidates for mayor and no one else.”
We’d say that these comments from Liu — who’s had to deal with an ongoing fundraising controversy and has confused reporters with ambiguous comments on his plans for 2013 — lean more to the yes-he’s-still-probably-gonna-run-for-mayor side of things.