Ten years in command of one of the world’s largest city law enforcement agencies. A solid Bloomberg ally, managing the mayor’s budget cutbacks after 9/11 changed the way the NYPD does business. A fantasy for New York Republicans, the New York Post editorial page, and even fellow Voice scribe Graham Rayman. But, as yesterday’s mayoral certification deadline came and went, the message is clear: NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly will not be running for City Hall anytime soon.
June 10 was the last day for candidates to post their intention to run in the New York City mayoral race and any campaign finance filings hitherto that announcement. But no peep was heard from the Kelly tent, even after shady mayoral polls were conducted last month to get a feel for the electorate’s opinion of its police chief (result: “Simply put, it’s Ray’s if he wants it”). And the insider sources who told the Voice otherwise proved to come up short, too.
For the Republicans, Kelly’s candidacy could have been their savior in an election all by guaranteed to end in Democratic victory. As mentioned before, his experience as NYPD commissioner provided him with a background that blows Joe Lhota’s time as MTA chief out of the water. He’s been lauded by both Democrats (including Christine Quinn) and Republicans for the 35 percent drop in crime under his watch, and his handling of anti-terrorism measures has gained him nationwide recognition.
Kelly’s candidacy would have totally changed the race. Then again, stop-and-frisk. Oh, and Muslim surveillance. And vocal demands for reaching quotas to his officers by any means possible.
Yeah, what a race that would’ve been.