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Bill Thompson isn't scared by poor showings in recent polls.
In recent polls from both Quinnipiac and Marist College, the former comptroller and second-time mayoral candidate has stayed in the low double digits while former Congressman Anthony Weiner creeps up and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn tumbles downwards.
"I've yet to see the polls be particularly accurate," Thompson said. "They've been inaccurate through most of my career and many of the elections that I've seen, they've been incredibly inaccurate. This is about Sept. 10 and the primary. That'll be the great indicator."
Whether or not the polls are inaccurate, Thompson continues to shore up support from both Latino elected leaders and long-time New York political stalwarts. The latest came earlier today from former Congressman Herman Badillo.
Badillo was the first Puerto Rican to serve as Bronx borough president and as U.S. House representative. He also served as a deputy mayor to former Mayor Ed Koch. The 83-year-old joined Thompson in East Harlem today to announce his endorsement.
Badillo spoke softly but firmly in support of Thompson, calling him a uniter who can address the city's education woes. It's a far cry from 2005, when Thompson ran against Mayor Michael Bloomberg. At the time, Badillo — formerly a long-time Democrat — was a registered Republican and supported Bloomberg's campaign.
"Four years ago, he almost won to everyone's surprise," Badillo said. "This year, with additional support form other people throughout this neighborhood and with my support, I'm sure he will be able to win. I'm sure that this time he will pass Christine Quinn and all the other candidates."
Asked by a reporter why he would not support Quinn, Badillo said it was because Bloomberg failed to keep his end of the bargain.
"Because of the fact that Bloomberg, if you remember, he announced himself to be the education mayor," he said. "He forgot about his own promise. He went back on it and we haven't heard anything about education from Bloomberg over the past few years."
Badillo's endorsement comes days after Thompson gained support from Democratic fixtures Rep. Charlie Rangel and former Mayor David Dinkins. He has also benefited from endorsements from Latino politicians such as Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, state Sen. José M. Serrano and his father, Rep. José E. Serrano.
Photo by Latima Stephens/Gotham Gazette.