Former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion hasn't gained much traction so far in his long-shot bid for mayor, but the Democrat-turned-political-independent is pushing forward and took sharp aim at his Democratic rivals on Thursday. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
Adolfo Carrion presented many extremely liberal policy ideas during a Thursday talk in Midtown to civic and business leaders. But when Carrion called for the minimum wage to be $15 an hour, complete abolition of stop-and-frisk and to "allow 16-year-olds and non-citizens to vote," it was a mocking impression of the Democratic candidates.
Carrion said the Democrats eyeing City Hall are beholden to unions and other special interests on the left.
"I have a news flash for all the candidates out there: pandering is not leadership," Carrion said.
A lifelong Democrat, Carrion switched to unaffiliated last year, and is staking his claim as a centrist candidate. Among his ideas in a speech Thursday were a city infrastructure trust, expanding the charter school model and creating more IT infrastructure. His platform is distinctly pro-business.
"I commit to not raising taxes on anyone," Carrion said.
He has been endorsed by the Independence Party, but failed in his bid to win a spot on the Republican primary ballot. He got tough criticism for both major parties.
"What we have is one party who is willing to say anything to get elected and another who simply ignores the needs of important segments of our population," Carrion said.
As the Independence Party candidate, Carrion is guaranteed a spot on the ballot in the general election in November and said he is committed to carrying out his candidacy. The good news for him is he has no primary to worry about. The bad news is, he will face an uphill struggle against the major-party candidates.
One Democrat present at the talk, City Councilman Robert Jackson of Manhattan, gave Carrion long odds.
"Four of every five New York City residents, or voters, are Democrats. I do not believe they're going to vote on the Independence Party line," Jackson said.
To be competitive, Carrion will have to pick up his fundraising. His latest public filing shows just $18,000 raised over the past two months.