Enter the independent candidate for Mayor. And, for the first time in a while, it is not Mr. Bloomberg.
Last night in SoHo, the Post reported that the Independence Party voted unanimously to elect Mr. Carrion as their nominee of the upcoming race for the keys to City Hall. He will go against whoever it is the Democrats and Republicans choose for their nominees.
Just this past fall, Mr. Carrion switched his party affiliation from Democrat to independent (making him the flipped Bloomberg, right?). But the candidate has quite the roots in Democratic politics: after his term in the Bronx, Mr. Carrion went to Washington and became the Obama White House director of urban affairs. Then, he took a position as regional director of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The former Bronx Borough President told the audience last night that he “would not let [them] down,” arguing that the Party had given them a “real choice” for Mayor. With that being said, is Adolfo Carrion the Ralph Nader of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s campaign for City Hall?
We’re not ruling anything out. Here’s why that might be the case.
In the past three elections, the Independence Party threw its support behind Mayor Bloomberg. Now, Mr. Carrion is their candidate and seems to be adopting a few of the Hizzoner’s electoral moves (minus the treasure chests of cash, of course).
For across-the-spectrum recognition, the third party candidate wants to garner the attention of the City’s Republicans. So, he’s trying to get on the primary list; except, to do this, he would have to get the endorsement of three party leaders — a hard task, given that he’s not a registered Republican. But an A for effort will prove advantageous to those Republicans scared of nominating a Giuliani clone or a billionaire grocer/oil magnate.
In terms of Democrats, Mr. Carrion’s experience in the White House will carry weight against Ms. Quinn’s time as City Council Speaker. A main test of her candidacy will be how she can escape the shadow of Mayor Bloomberg’s legacy but the sheer existence of this relationship alone will ostracize some Democrats from fully supporting her. Here, you have this third party candidate who can put President Obama on his resume. In this situation, Ms. Quinn is center-left Al Gore, stuck in this New Democrat mold that might not appeal to the wider population of blue.
Okay, enough of the 2000 nostalgia. Aldolfo Carrion has joined the race. It’s time to get serious here.