Former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion announced he will run for mayor on the Independent Party line Tuesday, but history shows it will be a tough battle for him. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
Adolfo Carrion is running for mayor, and he has left the Democratic Party to do it. He has the support of the New York City Independence Party and he is hoping that local Republican leaders give him a shot as well.
“We're casting a wide net, we’re casting a big umbrella because we believe that New Yorkers all together, under one umbrella united, care about the future and will build a better city,” Carrion said.
He officially kicked off his campaign with a business-centered speech delivered at the Bronx Museum of the Arts.
"The best social program is a job," he said repeatedly.
Carrion said he would support businesses from excessive fees, taxes and regulations. He also emphasized the importance of education and infrastructure improvements.
He said his campaign would try to energize the huge swath of voters, 70 percent of the electorate, that stayed home in 2009 instead of casting ballots in the last race for mayor.
He said he is offering a different kind of leadership.
"An independent kind of leadership that puts people over party, puts people over special interests, puts people and the American promise over tired ways of doing business.”
But his non-partisan message aside, the facts are that Carrion is going to have a tough time winning City Hall without the backing of Republicans.
The last time a third party candidate was elected mayor was in 1969 when Mayor John Lindsay was reelected on the Liberal Party line. But Carrion says it can be done.
"I think the voters are way smarter than the political insiders pretend," he said.
After leaving the Bronx borough president's office, Carrion led the White House Office of Urban Affairs and was regional director of the federal government's housing agency.
Carrion is the only Hispanic candidate in the race.
But he may face questions about a $10,000 fine the city Conflicts of Interest Board slapped him with in 2011, after he used an architect for home renovation work who needed Carrion's support for a development project.
If it is a three way race in November, it is unclear who Carrion would face.
The Democratic and Republican party primaries are shaping up to be quite crowded competitions.