While the result of Tuesday's Democratic mayoral primary remains in doubt, one thing is certain: Christine Quinn lost. The City Council Speaker conceded she didn't garner enough support to make a runoff, marking the close of a historic career in city politics. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.
Christine Quinn's 14 years in elected office are coming to an end.
It will be a city without Quinn in political leadership. First elected in 1999 as a councilwoman from Chelsea, selected council speaker in 2006, the first woman, and the first openly gay person, to hold the seat.
"Although I'm obviously disappointed by the results, I got to tell you, all of you guys couldn't make me more optimistic about the future of our city," she said Tuesday night.
It once seemed she would make history again in the city's biggest perch, as Quinn led polls for months. But as Democrats focused on the race, more opted for a cleaner break with Mayor Michael Bloomberg than she offered. The pair had been allies, most notably, and controversially, when Quinn delivered him a chance for a third term.
She tried to show her independence, stressing that results came when she sometimes cooperated with the mayor and sometimes opposed him. It may have been too nuanced for a Democratic primary, especially as hecklers hounded her.
"This was a hard-fought race," Quinn said. "We took a lot of knocks. We were up against a lot of odds."
"We're the only candidate in this race where there was $1 million worth of negative advertising spent against her," said Michael Morey, a spokesperson for the Quinn campaign. "And so in the beginning, we were wide up in the polls, largely due to name recognition. We took a sustained attack from independent expenditures and from five other candidates."
Another backer, Liz Abzug, said her gender doomed Quinn's bid from the beginning.
"Constantly being characterized as tough and brash and 'I don't like the voice,'" Abzug said. "You never here any commentator or any voter really talking about male candidates that way."
Quinn didn't assign blame. She instead said her candidacy would inspire both girls and gays and lesbians.
"They know, too, they can do anything they dream of," she said. "That alone makes all of our hard work worth it."
Quinn's next steps remain uncertain. During her concession speech, her supporters chanted 'You're not done.' But to that, the Council Speaker had no response.