Mayor Bloomberg Decides Not to Endorse in Race to Succeed Him

Bloomberg's comments Friday came in his first live interview since the primary

Mayor Bloomberg said Friday he has decided not to make an endorsement in the race to succeed him because it could eventually get in the way of the transition for the next mayor.

The billionaire Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent said on his weekly radio show that he doesn't "want to do anything that complicates it for the next mayor."

"And that's one of the reasons I've decided I'm just not going to make an endorsement in the race," he said.

Bloomberg also seemed to be confused Friday about some basic facts of the election. He said there would be a comptroller runoff, but that is not true, the public advocate race is headed for a runoff. He also noted that the general election is on Nov. 3, but it is two days later. 

Bloomberg's comments on WOR came in his first live interview since the primary, and since a New York Magazine piece last weekend in which he mused that Democrat Bill de Blasio was running a "racist" campaign because he was featuring his interracial family.

The host, John Gambling, did not ask Bloomberg about the interview. The mayor also had very little to say about Tuesday's Democratic primary, which has yet to be decided.

De Blasio was the top vote-getter but it remained unclear whether he would hold onto the 40 percent he needs to avoid a runoff. Second-place finisher Bill Thompson again Friday that he was staying in the race until every vote was counted.

The vote count continued Friday, and was expected to go several more days. More than 80,000 votes are outstanding.

"As a democracy, our top priority must be that every vote be counted," Thompson said in a statement Friday. "Today we begin that process with the Board of Election's recanvass of all machine votes. We expect that process to move forward as accurately and expeditiously as possible."

Former congressman Anthony Weiner, who finished fifth on Tuesday, took to Twitter to suggest that if Thompson were to drop out he should "do it quick" or it would look "forced." Weiner was in a similar situation during his 2005 mayoral bid and dropped out to avoid a runoff with eventual nominee Fernando Ferrer.

De Blasio told reporters on Friday that Thompson had every right to want the vote counted, and said "I don't feel like I'm in limbo" though he does not know if his next electoral opponent will be Thompson or Lhota.

He also joked that he had been "waiting by the phone" for Bloomberg's endorsement. The mayor did not endorse anyone in the primary, but spoke favorably of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who finished third.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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