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Thompson Vows 3 More Weeks As He Refuses To Concede

by Gotham Gazette Staff, Sep 11, 2013
 

Three more weeks. That was the message that supporters of Democratic mayoral candidate Bill Thompson were left with as poll numbers kept trickling in on primary night.

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Despite his main rival for the nomination, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, teetering around 40 percent, Thompson and his supporters left the campaign's election night party fully confident that the former comptroller would have more time to sell Democratic voters on his vision for New York.

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The Democratic nominee in 2009, Thompson laid out the campaign;s work not as a continuation of his fight against exiting Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

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"We took Mike Bloomberg on and we almost beat him," he said to a room teeming with supporters in Manhattan. "Now, we're going to finish what we started."

That's when the crowd responded with a sustained chant looking forward to an Oct. 1 runoff of "three more weeks."

Thompson congratulated de Blasio, albeit with a slight backhand, for running a good campaign.

"That's something he knows how to do," he said to scattered applause that soon turned to some snickers.

"But every voice in New York City counts," he added. "And we're going to wait for every voice to be heard. We're going to wait for every voice to be counted."

The vote still needs to be certified by the city Board of Elections, which will open machines on Friday and count paper ballots on Monday.

Thompson's faint praise for de Blasio was a sharp turn from the last few weeks. Thompson had spent both airtime and time in scrums blatantly accusing the public advocate of lying about his positions on stop and frisk and term limits.

Thompson, who only addressed the crowd of about 200 for about five minutes at 11:40 p.m., only causally mentioned term limits, and didn't name names. Nor did he mention stop-and-frisk as he stood in front of a wide range of labor supporters, including some of the city's leading police union leaders.

Detective Endowment Association President Michael Palladino said that it was Thompson's measured approach on stop-and-frisk that brought out police union support for the candidate. Even so, Palladino argued, Thompson presented a broader view beyond what has become the election's most divisive issue.

"Bill is the most realistic," Palladino said. "He realizes that safety is important but that you have to balance that with the civil rights of the people of this great city."

Palladino added that stop-and-frisk had unfairly eclipsed any number issues.

"However, this was a ball that some individuals, some other candidates felt that they had an opportunity to seize some votes with," he said, adding that much of the political storm has now been quelled by both the federal court ruling and the bills passed by the City Council.

Veiled references aside, there was plenty of commentary on at least one star of the mayoral race: Dante de Blasio's infamous coiffure.

"There are some people running around this city intoxicated with stupidity saying, 'Go with the fro,'" said the Rev. Victor Brown, of Staten Island, before he began the night's opening prayer. "I'm not going with the fro — I'm going with what I know."




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