Bill Thompson ended his bid to become the Democratic nominee for mayor this morning at a press conference on the steps of City Hall. Thompson had previously said that he would wait until all votes were counted, despite De Blasio’s unambiguous 40-percent-plus share of the vote. 5,000 mechanical votes and 80,000 absentee ballots are still outstanding.
Today’s announcement comes as a deal brokered by Governor Cuomo to head off a bruising runoff battle ahead of the general election. While Thompson could have potentially forced a runoff with the uncounted votes (see the chart below), polls pitting him against De Blasio in a runoff show him losing badly.
Though the announcement comes today, Thompson’s supporters have been jumping ship for De Blasio ever since the primary vote.
In his concession speech, Thompson remarked that “this is bigger than either one of us.” Cuomo lavished Thompson with praise, equating his concession to heroism in the name of the progressive cause.
“It takes a man of substance, it takes a man who really believes in public service and believes in the principles of the Democratic party to actually do it, and that’s what Bill Thompson is doing today,” said Cuomo.