Mayor Bill de Blasio said Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa has no shot at winning the November general election, claiming he’s a less impressive candidate than prior GOP City Hall hopefuls who got trounced in the deep-blue Big Apple.
“I believe, objectively, he does not, but you know, we have elections for a purpose,” de Blasio said at a press conference, when asked about the Guardian Angels founder’s chances against Democratic nominee, Brooklyn Borough president Eric Adams.
He conceded the election wouldn’t be officially decided “until the people have spoken.”
De Blasio — who handily beat longtime public servant Joe Lhota in the 2013 general election and then-Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis in his reelection bid — was unimpressed with Sliwa’s “substance.”
“I think previous opponents brought a certain amount of substance to the table, and that gave them a little more validity,” he sniffed. “But in the end, I think people of this city are ready to embrace Eric Adams, and I think he’s the right choice.”
In response, Sliwa called de Blasio “the worst mayor in our lifetime.”
“Of course, de Blasio says I’m not a candidate of substance, because I’m the one who challenges him on Thrive [NYC],” he said, referring to the mayor’s troubled mental health care initiative headed by his wife, Chirlane McCray. “I’m the one who calls the mayor out for not going to Rikers Island in four years.”
He blasted de Blasio as out of touch, and touted his own “street cred.”
“What de Blasio doesn’t understand — because he’s never in the neighborhoods, he’s never in the streets — is that Curtis Sliwa goes into neighborhoods where the only Republican they’ve ever seen is Abraham Lincoln on a $5 bill and gets street cred, respect.”
“He doesn’t understand that, because he’s never in the streets, never in the neighborhoods” he added. “He’s chicken!”
De Blasio — who did not publicly endorse a mayoral candidate during the primary but spoke favorably of the Brooklyn borough president — endorsed Adams in early August, about a month after he was declared winner of the June Democratic primary.
Registered Democrats in the five boroughs outnumber Republican voters in the city by an about 6-to-1 margin, making Adams a likely shoe-in to succeed de Blasio in January.
But Republicans winning mayoral elections in New York City is not without precedent.
While Malliotakis lost her campaign against de Blasio by 38.6 percent, and Lhota got beat by a 49-point margin, the current mayor was in 2013 the first Democratic nominee to ascend to City Hall since David Dinkins in 1989, when the Manhattan borough president defeated Rudy Giuliani.
In 1993, Giuliani beat Dinkins, the Big Apple’s first black mayor, in a rematch by a narrow 3 percent of the vote. He successfully ran for reelection four years later, winning comfortably when he faced off against Democratic nominee Ruth Messinger, then the Manhattan borough president.
Michael Bloomberg, formerly a Democrat, successfully ran as a Republican in 2001, and beat Democratic Public Advocate Mark Green. The billionaire businessman easily fended off Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer in 2005.
And in 2009, he ran as an independent while also earning the Republican Party ballot line after funding a ballot measure to extend term limits and leaving the GOP. That year, Bloomberg earned almost 51 percent of the vote while Democratic mayoral nominee Bill Thompson, the then-city comptroller, garnered 46 percent.
Published on: Article source