Pressure is mounting on William Thompson to withdraw from the mayor's race and end the possibility of a Democratic primary runoff with Bill de Blasio, but after meeting privately with supporters at the headquarters of the city's teachers' union, Thompson promised to press ahead. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
William Thompson is in a tough spot. He came in second in the Democratic primary, but some of his supporters are making it clear that they want him to get out of the way so the party can coalesce behind the first-place finisher, Bill de Blasio.
After meeting with supporters Thursday night, Thompson said he is not going anywhere.
"It continues to become clearer and clearer that there are tens of thousands of votes that are out there. We believe the votes should be counted," he said.
Some of Thompson's supporters are backing him up.
"My advice to my colleagues who have supported Bill is that they continue to do it," "If they're more concerned about being with the presumptive winner than with being with the best candidate, more power to them. I think they ought to grow a pair and stay still," said City Councilman Lewis Fidler.
Others, though, like Assemblyman Karim Camara, have already left him to sign on with de Blasio's campaign.
"We're here to say that as a Democratic party, that we are united behind our leader, the next mayor of this city, Bill de Blasio," Camara said.
De Blasio has enough votes right now to avoid a runoff, but there are still paper ballots to be counted. At a rally to announce more than 50 new endorsements, he was focused on the general election.
"If you want to see what victory looks like, just look around me, ladies and gentlemen," de Blasio said.
In another blow to Thompson, the city's campaign finance board announced that it is not anticipating a runoff in the mayor's race, which means the board is not giving any public funding to the candidates for a runoff campaign, and de Blasio and Thompson are prohibited from raising money from donors who gave the maximum amount in the primary. Thompson's campaign is asking that the decision be reversed.
Further complicating matters is a new state law, enacted in 2010, that gives Thompson until midnight Friday to withdraw from the race. If he pulls out after the deadline, the city's Board of Elections will still be required to stage a runoff.