Bill de Blasio is picking up some high-profile endorsements as his mayoral campaign continues to build momentum, while the president of the city's teachers' union says he played a key role in getting William Thompson to withdraw from the race. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
The latest group to back Bill de Blasio is the teachers' union. It endorsed William Thompson in the Democratic primary Wednesday, and UFT President Michael Mulgrew is now taking credit for getting Thompson out of the race. He said a secret meeting on Saturday did the trick.
"Without any of you knowing it, myself, Mr. de Blasio and Mr Thompson sat here for approximately an hour and a half to two hours, and it was one of the most refreshing political conversations I have ever had in my life," Mulgrew said.
Mulgrew said they decided that it was in the best interest of the city to unite the Democratic party behind de Blasio. He said they wanted to make sure a Democrat, and not a Republican, won City Hall.
De Blasio now has 40.88 percent of the Democratic primary vote. His lead grew after the Board of Elections finished double-checking the city's voting machines and counting emergency paper ballots cast on Primary Day.
There are still tens of thousands of paper ballots that need to be tallied, but as it stands, de Blasio is still over the 40 percent threshold required to avoid a runoff.
De Blasio is picking up some high-profile endorsements as his mayoral campaign continues to build momentum.
"I am very proud of the organizations that have joined us in the last few days," de Blasio said.
In addition to the teachers' union, President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also announced in a statement that they are supporting his campaign, but there do not appear to be any plans at this time for them to join him on the campaign trail.
"There's a real cross section of people in the city who believe in the vision I'm talking about," de Blasio said.
A coalition of more than 30 local chapters of the teamsters union is backing de Blasio, but the endorsement is raising questions because the union represents horse-drawn carriage drivers, and de Blasio has promised to ban horse carriages if he is mayor.
"I am very clear that I think it's time to end horse carriages in this city," de Blasio said.
The president of the teamsters union told NY1 that he hopes to have further conversations about the horse carriage industry with de Blasio.