After saying for days he wanted every vote counted, Bill Thompson is pulling the plug on his campaign for mayor and throwing his support behind Bill de Blasio, an arrangement which also has the blessing of Governor Andrew Cuomo. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
Bill Thompson bowed out and ended his campaign for mayor on Monday, even though he says the result of the primary has not been made official.
"We still don't know the outcome of the election," Thompson said.
Thompson gave into the growing pressure on him to step aside, allowing the party to unite behind Bill de Blasio.
"I am proud to stand here today and support Bill de Blasio to be the next mayor of the city of New York," Thompson said.
De Blasio won more than 40 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary.
There are, however, still tens of thousands of paper ballots that have not yet been counted, votes that Thompson has been focused on since the primary.
"I want to make sure that every voice is heard, that every vote is counted," Thompson said on Wednesday.
Sources say Thompson made up his mind after seeing de Blasio's edge grow over the weekend, as the Board of Elections double-checked the machines.
By dropping out, he clears the way for de Blasio to become the Democratic nominee.
His move also frees the Democratic party from having to endure a vicious run-off battle that could hurt its chances of winning City Hall in November.
"There is nothing more beautiful than Democratic unity," de Blasio said.
Governor Andrew Cuomo appears to have helped moved things along.
He praised Thompson for working to advance the shared vision of the Democratic party.
"What Bill Thompson is saying today is he's going to put aside his own personal ambition, his own personal hopes, his own personal ideas in honor and in respect of that shared vision, and we applaud him, and we congratulate him for that decision," Cuomo said.
Cuomo also formally endorsed de Blasio. They worked together in the Clinton administration.
"It is my honor to support him. It is my honor to celebrate the unity," Cuomo said.
De Blasio is expected to pick up support from the Clintons, as well as Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer.
Now, it is on to the general election, where de Blasio will go head to head with Republican Joe Lhota.