Congressman Anthony Weiner officially drops out of race for mayor - 2009 (how about a repeat?)
TUESDAY, MAY 26, 2009, 10:37 PM
Rep. Anthony Weiner told supporters he is dropping his mayoral campaign and plans to make a formal announcement Wednesday morning.
Weiner plans to announce his decision in front of his childhood home in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
In an op-ed published in Wednesday's New York Times, Weiner said he could not compete against Mayor Bloomberg's millions while staying focused on issues.
"I've taken stock of my life, my work in Washington and decided that now is not the right time to run," Weiner wrote. "I believe I have a contribution to make in Congress fighting for New Yorkers. (I'd also like to build a family.)"
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His decision follows the Queens Democratic organization's refusal to back him at its meeting Tuesday, sources said.
The county party voted unanimously to back city Controller William Thompson for mayor - as the other four county Democratic organizations have done.
Weiner (D-Brooklyn/Queens) said in March he was suspending his campaign to focus on his work in Washington and would make a final decision by the end of this month.
He told allies and advisers over the weekend he would make up his mind within days, even as he was marching in Memorial Day parades.
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"I have nothing to say," Weiner told the Daily News at his Forest Hills home last night. "I have nothing to say to you guys."
One source said the head of the Queens Democrats, Rep. Joe Crowley, "had a heart-to-heart" with Weiner on Monday and said he could be mayor someday - but not this year.
Sen. Chuck Schumer refused last night to comment about his protégé's decision.
"You have to talk to Anthony," he said.
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Thompson has picked up endorsements and support in the past two months, making it easier to gather the 7,500 signatures needed to get on the ballot.
"He knew that we had deadlines," said one Queens Democrat. "County needs to coordinate the citywide with the countywide with the local petitions. He was very understanding."
The political newspaper City Hall reported on its Web site Tuesday that Weiner had finally decided to pull the plug, with a formal announcement planned for Wednesday morning.
Weiner's campaign would not confirm or deny the report and d"Anthony has said he is making up his mind. The campaign will announce a decision when Anthony is ready to," said campaign spokeswoman Marie Ternes.
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The Queens party also backed Queens Councilmen John Liu for controller and Eric Gioia for public advocate.
Bloomberg's campaign team has been gearing up for a fight against Weiner, drawing up plans to bury him in negative ads while unflattering stories about the congressman appeared in New York newspapers.
A primary battle between Weiner and Thompson could have left the winner bruised and battered, while also forcing them to spend money on beating each other instead of the mayor.
Weiner addressed that possibility in his op-ed column.
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"Running in the primary against [Thompson] in September would only drain the ability of the winner to compete in the general election."
He also offered some praise for Bloomberg.
"The mayor has tried to be innovative in some areas, and he has avoided the divisive racial politics that can cripple our city. So I will continue to work with Mayor Bloomberg whenever I can, and disagree forcefully when I believe his policies leave the middle class and working class behind."
The Thompson and Bloomberg campaigns would not comment on Weiner's decision.