Mayoral candidates fighting and occasionally smiling, a governor working his fellow electeds and the cameras, a hometown president passing through. Those are among the images in our 2017 photo retrospective.
Shot entirely in the five boroughs, our photo retrospective reflects our 2017 focus on the mayoral election and particularly on challengers looking to defeat Mayor de Blasio. There’s more, however, with a mix of light moments, conflict and loss.
Mayor Bill de Blasio recently ventured to the politically hostile Rockaway neighborhood of Belle Harbor for a town hall. Antipathy for de Blasio runs strong in the area, with de Blasio having lost the assembly district to both Nicole Malliotakis and Joe Lhota, but the town hall audience engaged with de Blasio on many substantive topics.
The 2017 mayoral election is over, but the photos live on.
Our photo retrospective covers the race from a 2016 endorsement of Bill de Blasio and a January 2017 appearance by Paul Massey through election night. I’ve chosen this selection from the more than 100 campaign events I attended.
Republican Council Member Eric Ulrich today renewed his support for independent mayoral candidate Bo Dietl, while dismissing the Republican mayoral nominee as not “ready for prime time.” We spoke at the opening of Ulrich’s campaign office in Howard Beach, which Dietl attended.
Ulrich is the only elected official to support Dietl, having endorsed him in April. In June, as Dietl’s efforts at getting Republican Party approval to run in the GOP primary (necessary since he had attempted to switch his registration to Democratic) floundered, Ulrich was clear that he intended to support the Republican nominee in the general election. Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis is the Republican nominee, but Ulrich has stuck with Dietl despite his June statement.
While Ulrich professed friendship and respect for Malliotakis he nonetheless said “I don’t think she was ready for prime time,” noting her limited fundraising and name recognition. Here’s our exchange:
Council Member Eric Ulrich, the sole Republican elected official to have endorsed Bo Dietl for mayor, last night made clear that his endorsement does not extend to an independent run by Dietl. Instead, Ulrich will support the Republican nominee in the general election whoever that nominee is. Ulrich did express hope that Dietl could still become that nominee, urging Dietl to again approach the Republican county leaders for a Wilson-Pakula which would allow Dietl to run in the Republican primary.
Ulrich endorsed Dietl in April, giving Dietl a boost early in his campaign. Last week Dietl lost his appeal in his lawsuit seeking reinstatement to the Republican Party and the associated right to run in the Republican primary. As a person who is not registered in any party, and who has not received any of the “minor” party nominations, Dietl’s only prospect for running is on a self-created independent ballot line. Ulrich made clear that he will not support Dietl in such a run. I spoke with Ulrich following a meeting in Belle Harbor of the Rockaway Republican Club.
The Bo Show rolled into Howard Beach Saturday afternoon, adding some sizzle to Eric Ulrich’s reelection campaign fundraiser. Ulrich, who seriously pursued running for mayor before opting to run for a third and final term on the City Council, has endorsed Bo Dietl for mayor and Dietl returned the favor appearing at Ulrich’s fundraiser. Dietl encountered fellow mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis and Queens County Republican Chairman Bob Turner, an early and enthusiastic backer of mayoral candidate Paul Massey. Massey, who has been endorsed by Turner’s Queens County Republican organization, did not attend. Continue reading Ulrich Fundraiser→
Republican mayoral candidates Nicole Malliotakis and Paul Massey crossed paths at the Queens Republican Party’s Spring Dinner, working the crowd separately and each speaking during dinner Wednesday night. In a bit of fortuitous timing Massey walked into the dinner as Malliotakis explained her late entry into the race as motivated by the fact that “I haven’t seen the passion, I haven’t seen the energy” from the other candidates. That was as close as they came to any direct debate or confrontation, however.
New York City Council Member Eric Ulrich today endorsed Bo Dietl for mayor, supporting Dietl in a race that he may not get to run. Dietl’s hope of running in the Republican primary depends on receiving a waiver, known as a Wilson-Pakula, from the Republican county committees in at least three of New York City’s five counties.
This was a good get for Dietl, attracting a decent amount of press interest in a race that has attracted limited attention. There’s a very small pool of Republican elected endorsements available, as Ulrich is one of only seven nine elected Republicans (excluding President Trump) from New York City. He’s the second to endorse a mayoral candidate, with Assembly Member Ron Castorina having endorsed Paul Massey.
Like a blooming sign of spring, the nascent Republican mayoral primary continued emerging this week, with a candidate forum last night. Hosted by the Columbia University College Republicans, the forum featured four candidates: Darren Aquino, Michel Faulkner, Paul Massey and Eric Ulrich.
The forum was a “compare and contrast,” rather than a mix-it-up/toe-to-toe, style. Each candidate was asked each question seriatim, with little direct interaction among the candidates. It’s a less dramatic format, but useful in this early “getting to know you” stage. The audience of about 75 people was attentive but mostly silent in the soaring rotunda of Columbia’s Low Library.
Aquino is an actor and self-described “national advocate for disabled” who has not had any significant previous visibility in the race. His January campaign finance filing reported raising $1,000, with $542 on hand. Faulkner and Massey are both declared candidates who have been running energetically for months, with their most recent appearances being Wednesday night at a Bronx County Republican dinner. Ulrich, a member of the City Council and the only Republican candidate with government experience, is registered with the Campaign Finance Board as a candidate for an “undeclared” city office. He’s effectively running at the moment, albeit at a somewhat reduced pace and without a full commitment, appearing at some political events while he considers whether to fully move ahead and formally declare himself a mayoral candidate. That decision is likely in the next couple of weeks.
John Catsimatidis, a wealthy businessman who lost to Joe Lhota in the 2013 Republican primary, is also considering a run but did not appear at this forum. Like Ulrich he’s appearing at some political events but hasn’t announced his candidacy. (Unlike Ulrich, he has not registered with the Campaign Finance Board.) Catsimatidis recently said that he expects to make a decision on running by late March or early April.
A cold, bitter wind blew across Rockaway Saturday afternoon. It wasn’t the sentiment of residents toward Mayor de Blasio, but an actual wind blowing in from Jamaica Bay during the Rockaway St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
The cold temperature and strong wind dampened attendance, but those turning out appeared to have their usual good time. It’s a world apart from the large Fifth Avenue parades, and even from many parades in other parts of the City, with a strong small town feel to it as the parade flows through a suburban neighborhood of single family homes. Green-clothed crowds filled many front lawns and porches, with cheers for the marchers interspersed amid a steady flow of eating, drinking and talking.
Council Member and putative Republican mayoral candidate Erich Ulrich supports holding a state constitutional convention.
The 2017 general election will present voters with a ballot question of whether to hold such a constitutional convention, often referred to as a “ConCon.” The state constitution requires that voters be presented with such a ballot question every 20 years; it was voted down in 1997 and 1977. Should voters approve a ConCon, convention delegates would be elected in the 2018 general election and the convention would convene in the spring of 2019.
Saying that there are vital changes that “weak-kneed politicians in Albany and City Hall have refused to take up,” Ulrich said that he is “wholeheartedly” in support of a convention. Should Ulrich run and make it to the general election, the ConCon could be an energizing issue in November.
We spoke with Ulrich following an appearance at the Upper East Side’s Metropolitan Republican Club.
Council Member Eric Ulrich drew several Queens elected officials to a City Hall rally Friday, objecting to the de Blasio administration’s efforts at using hotels in Maspeth and Rockaway as homeless shelters. The electeds’ objections, substantially focused on the process and lack of communication by the administration, left them exposed to the deep anger of the 150 or so people attending the rally. Those attendees, predominantly from Maspeth with a minority from Rockaway, deeply oppose siting a shelter in their neighborhood no matter what process or communication is used. Their anger eventually overwhelmed the elected officials’ efforts to conduct a press conference, driving those elected officials into City Hall as the crowd chanted outside on the City Hall portico and briefly marched on City Hall plaza.
Council Member Eric Ulrich got more than he bargained for this morning as supporters joining a protest he organized overwhelmed the press Q&A portion of that protest, driving Ulrich and other elected officials to abandon the effort.
Ulrich, a Council Member from Queens who’s running for mayor and long a critic of Mayor de Blasio, organized the rally and press conference to “protest Mayor de Blasio’s failed homeless policies.” Joined by State Senators Joe Addabbo, Jose Peralta and Tony Avella and Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, Ulrich decried the de Blasio administration’s actions around placement of homeless shelters, particularly in the Playland Motel in Rockaway and the Holiday Inn Express in Maspeth. Both efforts by the de Blasio administration have generated intense neighborhood opposition. It’s a good issue for Ulrich in many ways as many of his Rockaway constituents are strongly opposed to the administration’s efforts and it provides a means for greater exposure to the City’s full electorate.
His rally spun out of control as Ulrich began taking press questions, with several attendees jumping in to shout over Ulrich and Council Member Elizabeth Crowley. Those shouting attendees (including state senate candidate Michael Conigliaro) and the elected officials attending aren’t at odds, they all oppose the shelter placements, but the deep anger flowing out of many attendees overwhelmed the more measured complaints from Ulrich and the other electeds.