It will soon be time to end this election
In the Spring, the UFT worked out a strategy to find a candidate for mayor – someone who could catch Quinn, beat her in a runoff, and go on to win the general election.
The choice came down to Bill De Blasio and Bill Thompson. John Liu, who the UFT really likes, still had the campaign finance thing hanging around his neck.
We liked both Bills. We said (or our leaders said) that their education policies were similar. And I believe that. But our leaders also said that Thompson had the easier path to victory, and that was the determining factor in the endorsement.
Back in 2009, I moved a Thompson endorsement at the Delegate Assembly. Shot down. Four more years of Bloomberg. This time the union leadership would be directly involved.
Now, it turned out a little differently than we planned. Our first and second choice finished first and second, but not in that order. We got an anti-Bloomberg. An anti-Quinn. We should be pleased with the result.
(The UFT can also claim credit for Scott Stringer’s victory. There is no question that the UFT endorsement was decisive in the Comptroller’s race)
There is still a possibility of a run-off in the Mayoral race, but it is looking slimmer by the hour. But it may take a week to determine for sure. We should not wait that long.
When the numbers look nearly impossible (we are already very close) we should speak with Thompson. He is a friend of the union. And we endorsed him. But a brutal run-off benefits no one, not when the candidates are our top two choices anyhow.
It is time to focus on undoing the Bloomberg legacy, and protecting students, teachers, schools, and communities from its lingering after-effects. Let’s do what it takes to start that sooner, rather than later.