The former city comptroller, who narrowly lost to Michael Bloomberg in what many had expected to be a blowout mayoral election last November, plans to run for mayor again in 2013.
"I'm not going to disappear," Thompson told the Daily News. "The city of New York is a place that I love. And I think that I am uniquely qualified for the position."
Despite Bloomberg's massive financial advantage (he outspent Thompson by nearly 14 to 1), Thompson gave the now three-time mayor a run for his money. The race catapulted him to the forefront of New York politics, earned him respect as a worthy opponent at the highest levels and prompted curiosity about his next move.
Would he run against Gillibrand? Would he aim for the state comptroller spot in a possible Andrew Cuomo administration? How about lieutenant governor?
Thompson says he's not interested in any of those jobs.
"I am not running for office this year; it is my intention to run for mayor in 2013,” he told The New York Times. "While I have been flattered by the large number of people who have reached out to me to suggest that I run statewide this year, the issues I raised in New York City — the need for good-paying jobs and closing the affordability gap — those are issues I still feel strongly about."
Thompson got lukewarm support from the Democratic party at both local and national levels in his first campaign for mayor, but his strong showing and inspiring effort could help net him some heftier endorsements come 2013. And time is on his side.
While it's unusually early to declare his candidacy, Thompson's move will likely give him a jump start on fund-raising, keep his voting base energized and give him ample opportunity to build a solid campaign with support from the highest levels of politics.
Also, by announcing his intention to run so early, Thompson rides the wave of publicity that stemmed from his unexpected performance against Bloomberg in November. And whereas he was a relatively unknown candidate in the last election, people now know his name -- and he's given them a reason to remember it.
In the meantime, Thompson plans to remain visible in the public arena as he considers whether to return to the private sector until it's time to gear up for the campaign.
"I’m not going to fade away; it’s important to stay involved and talk about the issues that impact New Yorkers," he told the Times. "I don’t know what the public vehicle will be, or how I’m going to continue to stay out there, but I am going to do that."
It's a bit soon to consider who the mayoral contenders will be in 2013, but City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Comptroller John Liu and Rep. Anthony Weiner, who opted not to challenge Thompson in the Democratic primary last year, have been mentioned as potential candidates.
Asked about the possibility of facing Bloomberg again should the mayor renege on his promise not to run for a fourth term, Thompson had only two words.
"Oh God," he told the Times.