New terms, lots of candidates, fiercely fought elections, victories and defeats both surprising and not. Lots happened in 2018 New York politics and we’ve distilled the year into our 2018 Year in Photos.
Chirlane McCray, wife of Mayor Bill de Blasio, joined state senate candidate Jessica Ramos at a Jackson Heights senior center. McCray, who told me two days earlier that she intended to only endorse attorney general candidate Zephyr Teachout in the 2018 primaries, joined her husband in supporting Ramos. McCray said that while she had not “formally endorsed” Ramos she is “100% with her.”
Chirlane McCray, wife of Mayor Bill de Blasio, endorsed and appeared with attorney general candidate Zephyr Teachout. They appeared together at a Brooklyn subway station just before Teachout’s four-way primary. Teachout is the first candidate endorsed by McCray in the 2018 Democratic primaries, and McCray said that she does not plan to endorse any other candidates in the primaries.
New York City’s three citywide elected officials were sworn in to second terms Monday, with Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate Letitia James and Comptroller Scott Stringer taking their oaths in front of City Hall on a bitterly cold afternoon. All three were reelected to a second and final term in November, with term limits precluding 2021 reelection bids. They’re able to run for each others offices however, with James and Stringer widely seen as contemplating mayoral runs.
Sunday’s African American Day Parade drew elected officials to Harlem, including Mayor Bill de Blasio and Republican/Conservative mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis. de Blasio, accompanied by his wife Chirlane McCray, received an extremely warm welcome. Steadily working the sidelines as the parade worked its way up Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, de Blasio was showered with smiles, handshakes and hugs. Malliotakis worked her way through waiting marchers ahead of the parade, but did not march in the parade. She was well-received, with many people interested in her candidacy, but her reception did not match de Blasio’s.
Mayoral candidate Bo Dietl had mixed results as he sought out Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio ahead of the West Indian Day Parade this morning. Cuomo and de Blasio lined up separately for the parade, with Cuomo doing a brief press Q&A before marching.
As Cuomo walked toward the waiting press Dietl called out “we love Governor Cuomo”, drawing a finger point and “ohhh, Bo.” “Democrat Bo” replied Dietl. As Cuomo and the Rev. Al Sharpton stood waiting to march Dietl moved in, drawing a “what’s up Bo” from Sharpton as they exchanged a handshake and kiss. (“I know Al Sharpton 40 years … I regard him as a friend” Dietl said afterwards.) A smiling Cuomo looked toward Dietl, shook his hand and kept smiling as he turned away.
Dietl moved on to de Blasio, waiting for a moment as the mayor posed for a picture. “Mr. Mayor, no Columbus, come on, no Columbus” he called out, drawing a mayoral smile and quick handshake. A silent Chirlane McCray, Mayor de Blasio’s wife, smiled wanly and gave a small flick of her flag as Dietl reached past her to take the mayor’s hand.
Mayoral candidate Bo Dietl provoked outrage last night with a seemingly offhand comment at the Manhattan Republican Party’s mayoral candidate forum. Dietl, who muffed an attempt last year at shifting his party registration from Republican to Democratic and is now seeking Republican Party permission to run as a Republican despite not being currently registered as a Republican, filed a lawsuit against the Board of Elections. As he tried to explain the saga during his closing comments last night, Dietl blamed “de Blasio’s tentacles” as responsible for the adverse Board of Elections ruling. Of the judge who heard his lawsuit Dietl said “the judge looked like Charlene de Blasio (sic) and as soon as I saw her … I knew I had a problem.”
Here is Dietl’s closing statement:
Speaking with reporters afterwards, and here responding to Politico’s Azi Paybarah, Dietl defended his comment:
Update – Faulkner:
Michel Faulkner was asked (by Politico’s Azi Paybarah) about Dietl’s comment during a post-forum press Q&A, terming it “offensive” and “could be borderline racist.” Faulkner nonetheless unambiguously expressed affection for Dietl, concluding his remarks by saying “put that down, make sure you say ‘I love Bo.'” The brief exchange also featured a interruption by a Dietl staffer, which Faulkner brushed aside.
Former Mayor David Dinkins appeared with current Mayor Bill de Blasio today, expressing great support and admiration for de Blasio although without expressly endorsing his reelection bid. de Blasio and his wife Chirlaine McCray met as young staffers in the Dinkins administration and they’ve long expressed their high regard for Dinkins, which Dinkins has reciprocated. Today’s appearance continued de Blasio’s rapid ramp up of his nascent 2017 reelection campaign, adding to the early union endorsements and appearances as he moves to publicly present a strong base of support.
Detective Rafael Ramos, murdered alongside Detective Wenjian Liu, was buried Saturday amid a sad yet powerful show of support and remembrance. His funeral at Christ Tabernacle Church in Glendale was attended by an estimated at 25,000 people, predominantly uniformed police officers from New York City and around the country, and many elected officials. Vice President Joe Biden, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio were among those elected officials, with each speaking during the service.
The funeral concluded with a quiet and somber moment as Detective Ramos’s casket was carried out to a waiting hearse. Taps echoed off the front of the church as an NYPD honor guard saluted amid a sea of officers. Thousands remained silently at attention as the honor guard folded the flag covering Detective Ramos’ casket and presented it to his widow and two sons. The silence was broken only by the roar of engines as police helicopters flew overhead in a missing-man formation and scores of motorcycle cops moved past the family into position at the head of a lengthy funeral procession, leading Detective Ramos to his final resting place.
Here are pictures from Glendale.
As he seeks to regain his political footing Mayor Bill de Blasio led a moment of silence today for slain Police Officers Rafael Ramos and Winjian Liu. de Blasio and his wife Chirlane McCray joined dozens of administration staffers in the “bullpen”, a large open work space in City Hall, with de Blasio speaking ahead of the moment of silence. Talking of “pain” and “mourning”, de Blasio offered “support and solidarity” to the slain officers families as well as urging a broader theme of community-police “healing.” He also lauded the police department and its members for their work and sacrifices.
Mayor de Blasio was asked today about his wife’s role in his administration and why it’s appropriate for her to have City staff. Since his election, de Blasio has frequently discussed the important role Chirlane McCray plays in his own decision making and, among other actions, named her as chair of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. McCray’s chief of staff, Rachel Noerdlinger, announced Monday that she is taking an indefinite leave of absence in the wake of a number of widely-reported personal difficulties.
de Blasio spoke at a press conference/media roundtable focused on City efforts to address problems in the Corrections Department and the jails it operates on Rikers Island.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Friday afternoon visit to a middle school after school program included being serenaded, freestyle. The mayor, joined by his wife Chirlane McCray and several City officials, visited Gramercy Park’s M.S. 255 to promote the lesser publicized part of his universal pre-K/middle school after school program initiative and urge parents and students to enroll.
Press questions were primarily “off topic,” with on topic questions covering the enrollment statistics and remaining available seats and whether legislative changes to the common core state standards will be an improvement for students, teachers and parents. Off topic questions included city enforcement efforts around Airbnb and Airbnb’s hiring of de Blasio’s campaign manager, why a proposed ban on carriage horses has taken far longer than initially promised by the mayor, Tim Wu’s comments on the mayor’s central role on defeating Wu and Zephyr Teachout in Tuesday’s primary, revised statistics on NYPD chokehold incidents, charter school co-locations, the mayor’s lack of a federal security clearance and resulting inability to receive classified information, school bus drivers movement toward a strike, his relationship with Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and his efforts to help elect a Democratic majority in the state senate.