Bloomberg Reaffirming His Independence

Mayor close to getting on party's ticket

Weeks of backroom negotiations allegedly have Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city's Independence Party on the verge of reconciliation.

Following a recent sit-down at the West Village home of party founders Fred Newman and Jackie Salit, the mayor made both amends and promises that have all but secured him a place on their ticket.

"I think he’s got it,” Newman told The New York Times. "And I think he deserves it."

Bloomberg had crossed parity officials last year with his support of state Independence Party chairman Frank MacKay's bid to unseat Independent leaders in the city.

"It angered us, but it's in the past," said Mr. Newman.

Bloomberg made nice by promising to pursue an election system that would alleviate party control of the process, to broker peace between the state and city Independents and to cough up a bushel of money for his own campaign.

The reunion of Bloomberg and the Independents is best for both parties, sparing one grief and the other irrelevance. It comes just as Bloomberg is poised to open his first campaign offices.

Bloomberg's quest for a political home had taken him from one end of the city to the other as he courted Republican Party leaders, who, like their Democratic counterparts -- and most everyone else, felt betrayed by the mayor.

Hizzonor still enjoys an approval rating north of 60 percent and neither the Dems nor the GOP seem able to mount and sort of serious challenge.

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