“I think it’s time for you to go to the pasture.” Mayoral candidate Bo Dietl was dismissive of rival mayoral candidate Sal Albanese and Albanese’s victory in Tuesday’s Reform Party primary, suggesting he should end his candidacy. Albanese was the only candidate listed on the Reform Party ballot, but Dietl and Republican/Conservative candidate Nicole Malliotakis mounted write-in campaigns seeking to take the Reform Party Nomination from the party’s designated candidate. In preliminary election night results Albanese received 57% of the votes cast, with total write in votes of 43% insufficient to give Dietl or Malliotakis a chance of winning.
In addition to deriding Albanese’s 57% showing in a race in which he was the only candidate on the ballot, Dietl also accused Albanese of colluding with Bill de Blasio to help de Blasio receive primary election matching funds from the Campaign Finance Board. (The CFB awarded matching funds to de Blasio on a finding that Albanese’s Democratic primary candidacy met the legal threshold of significant competition.)
Albanese’s Reform Party candidacy is an unwelcome complication for Dietl and Malliotakis, adding a third anti-de Blasio candidate who may draw press and voter attention away from their respective campaigns. They’re already fighting for the same base, as evidenced by this Dietl visit to a senior center in Malliotakis’ assembly district. That base is not nearly large enough to power a single candidate to victory, and split between Dietl and Malliotakis it leaves both with little ability to pose a real challenge to Mayor de Blasio. Albanese’s presence further muddles their efforts at establishing themselves as the primary de Blasio opponent, and Dietl’s comments reflect an understanding of that challenge.
Dietl was harshly dismissive of Albanese’s debate performance against Mayor de Blasio, when Dietl and Albanese crossed paths at a Queens candidate forum.