After many years of plotting such a move, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn launched her mayoral campaign this morning in her old family neighborhood of Inwood in Manhattan, touting her record of "action" in the council and pledging to focus on making the city livable for the middle class.
Quinn made the announcement in front of the church where her parents were married, speaking alongside her wife, Kim Catullo, her father and father-in-law, and her sister and extended family. She described how her Irish immigrant grandparents came to the city a hundred years and several generations of her family were able to work and prosper there.
The Manhattan councilwoman also said her entire career has been focused on getting results, and mentioned her passing seven on-time city budgets in the council.
"I know I'm the best person, working with all of New York's 8.4 million people to make this happen. Because if you look at my record, it's not one of criticism and finger-pointing. It's one of action, results and delivery," Quinn said.
The speaker did not play up some history-making prospects of her candidacy, such as her potentially being the city's first openly gay mayor. Also, while women have run for mayor of the city before, none have won.
From Inwood, the council speaker then visited the South Bronx, the Forest Hills section of Queens, Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn and then West Brighton on Staten Island as part of a "walk and talk" tour.
Quinn had only one heckler in Forest Hills, Herbert Goldman, who criticized her pushing the 2008 referendum that abolished term limits. That allowed Quinn, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and many other city officials to run for a third term, before term limits were reinstated in 2010.
Goldman: We voted twice for term limits! How do you feel about that?
Quinn: I feel that in that vote, you took a position.
Goldman: In other words, we disagree. And you don't give a damn about our election votes.
Quinn: Absolutely not. That's not true.
Her campaign team started Sunday early by releasing an online video in which the speaker says her candidacy will focus on the city's affordability.
In her video and campaign announcement, Quinn avoided her close relationship with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, which has become a campaign issue within the Democratic primary.
However, a chief rival in the mayoral race, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, said Quinn will not differ much than her ally.
"It seemed like more of the same today," de Blasio said Sunday. "I understand that she was asked if she felt good about what Bloomberg polices have done for the middle class and she was not willing to challenge the mayor. I think that's par for the course."
Later on Sunday afternoon, Quinn told NY1 she hoped the election would be about the current mayoral candidates and issues affecting New Yorkers, rather than be a referendum on Bloomberg's legacy.
"I don't think he's running, and elections are about the people who are running, I think," Quinn said. "I think this is going to be an election about the people who are running, and I believe New Yorkers want to have a mayor who can get the job done. How do you know if they can get the job done? Well, you can bank on it if you've gotten the job done."
She also said some of the important issues in the election are jobs creation, improving public schools and the CUNY system, helping small businesses, transportation and expanding early childhood education.
Quinn also used rhetorical to undercut potential criticism that she's too close to the business community. In her speech, Quinn gave extensive details on her working-class origins and her video touts her father's time as a shop steward for an electrical union.
The Democratic mayoral primary in September, but Quinn is currently at the head of the polls and was receiving endorsements even before her campaign was official.
A NY1/Marist College poll showed last month that 37 percent of registered Democrats would vote for Quinn, which is a 3-to-1 advantage over other Democrats in the race.
Besides de Blasio, former City Comptroller Bill Thompson and former City Councilman Sal Albanese are also running for the Democratic nomination and another likely rival is City Comptroller John Liu.
Quinn: Election Is "About People Who Are Running," Not Bloomberg
TWC News: Speaker Quinn Launches Mayoral Bid, Vows To Make City More Affordable
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City Council Speaker Christine Quinn spoke with NY1's Josh Robin in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn on Sunday afternoon, and told him that she wants the mayoral election to deal with solutions for everyday struggles in the city, rather than be a referendum about Mayor Michael Bloomberg's performance.