Quinn bid for NYC mayor falls flat

Lesbian city official and mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn fell far short Tuesday of her goal to win at least a run-off spot in the New York City mayoral race’s Democratic primary.

Despite having the endorsement of the New York Times and the New York Daily News, Quinn came in third out of nine Democratic primary candidates and, with only 15 percent of the vote, was not able to force frontrunner Bill de Blasio into a run-off contest. De Blasio ended the night with 40.2 percent of the Democratic primary vote, just over the 40 percent needed to avoid a run-off. But there were still a significant number of ballots –including paper ballots—to be counted, so it is not yet sure that he has secured the Democratic nomination.

If De Blasio fails to finish with 40 percent of the vote, he will be thrown into a run-off October 1 against former comptroller Bill Thompson Jr., who took second with 26 percent) of the vote.

Quinn’s campaign was an important one to the LGBT community. If successful, she would have become both the first lesbian mayor of the nation’s largest city. But exit poll results reported by the New York Times indicated Quinn, who serves as speaker of New York’s 50-member city council, came in second even in the heavily gay sections of the city, such as the West Village, Chelsea, and lesbian favored Park Slope. In the West Village, De Blasio won 50 percent of the vote to Quinn’s 34 percent, according to the Times “Vote by Neighborhood” map. In Quinn’s home district of Chelsea, De Blasio won 42 percent to Quinn’s 39 percent. In Park Slope, De Blasio took 63 percent to Quinn’s 22 percent.

Overall, throughout the city, the Times’ exit polls showed that 47 percent of voters who identified as “gay, lesbian, or bisexual” supported De Blasio, 34 percent supported Quinn, nine percent supported Thompson, and seven percent supported other candidates, including the former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner whose bid crumbled after revelations that he continued sending sexual texts to women other than his wife even after he resigned from Congress following the initial revelations.

LGB people comprised nine percent of those responding to exit polls.

Quinn had led by as much as 24 points shortly after she entered the race and led by nine points as recently as August 2. The Times faulted Quinn for supporting the city police chief despite his controversial policy of “stop-and-frisk” and “spying” on Muslim prayer services. And many news media suggested Quinn lost points with voters because she supported incumbent Mayor Michael Bloomberg. But the Times endorsement of Quinn characterized hern as a “forceful counterpart to Mr. Bloomberg.” And there were also news stories, including in the Times, portraying Quinn as being prone to unleash a fierce temper on colleagues and having “threatened, repeatedly, to slice off the private parts of those who cross her.”

But many prominent members of the LGBT community did back Quinn. Gay City News reported that, going into the weekend before Tuesday’s primary, Quinn staged a rally for her campaign at the historic Stonewall Inn. In video posted by Gay City News, Quinn told the Friday night crowd, “Nobody has ever handed our community anything” and vowed to continue fighting for the LGBT community”.

Taking the stage to endorse and rally support for her were openly gay former State Senator Tom Duane, DOMA plaintiff Edie Windsor, and actor Cheyenne Jackson.

Gay City News also endorsed Quinn, saying that, while the top five Democrats were “all advocates” for LGBT equality, Quinn would bring “unique and disciplined skills” to the job.

Comments posted at Gay City News and with the New York Times website hinted that some LGBT people did not support Quinn because they perceived she had not demonstrated enough support for racial minorities, and some because they perceived she had not done enough for the LGBT community.

De Blasio, the likely Democratic nominee, has a strong record on LGBT issues and his wife has spoken comfortably about having identified as a lesbian in her twenties. As a member of the mayoral administration of David Dinkins, de Blasio helped usher in a domestic partner registry. As a city council member, he co-sponsored a bill to end discrimination based on gender identity. In his campaign, he promised to fund programs for LGBT youth and seniors, push for federal immigration reform to help same-sex couples, and “lead an aggressive campaign” to ensure LGBT people have health insurance.

The Democratic nominee will face the winner of the Republican primary,  Joe Lhota, head of the city’s transit system, in November.

Registered Democratic voters out-number Republicans six to one.

One Response to Quinn bid for NYC mayor falls flat

  1. Gil Gerald says:

    I could not offer my vote to Christine Quinn or to any other candidate who would not unequivocally and forcefully come out against the Stop and Frisk policies of the City. I am one of many who turned to Bill de Blasio. The dignity of Black and Latino GBT/SGL men, and of their non-GBT/SGL brothers was under constant assault by the unconstitutional activities of NYPD. I am profoundly saddened and disappointed that someone whose path to elected office was paved by LGBTQ individuals who pushed back against the NYPD in 1969 could not stand with us today in that same Spirit of Stonewall!

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