Bo Dietl's longshot campaign for mayor is getting a boost from Republican City Councilman Eric Ulrich. Mayor Bill de Blasio, meanwhile, is staffing up for his re-election fight. Our Grace Rauh has the story.
Bo Dietl took his campaign fire to the steps of City Hall to collect what could be an influential endorsement from City Councilman Eric Ulrich.
"I absolutely believe that Bill de Blasio can be beat this year and the only person who can beat him that is currently in the race for mayor is Bo Dietl," said Queens Councilman Ulrich.
Dietl is not a registered Republican but he is nevertheless hoping to run in the GOP primary. The blessing from Ulrich — who was once considering his own run — may help Dietl make the case to party leaders.
"The main line I want to run on is the 'Anyone But de Blasio' line," said Dietl. "A special line."
The former NYPD detective turned private investigator bristles at comparisons to another flame-thrower in politics.
"I am not Donald Trump and anyone that compares me, I really feel hurt in my heart," Dietl said.
But whether he likes it or not, Dietl seems cut from the same cloth.
"I love Puerto Rican. I love black. I will go and do anything and come anywhere for anybody. I want to be your mayor," Dietl said.
He also promised to embrace a very different strategy when it comes to Washington.
"I'll go on my knees if I have to and say, Donald, New York needs you," Dietl said.
As Dietl arrived at City Hall, activists calling for the closure of Rikers Island were winding down their own rally — leading to some tense exchanges.
"We have got to clean up what's in Rikers Island rather than talking about moving it," Dietl said.
"It's not about decorum," said Glenn Martin with the group Close Rikers. "It's about people suffering on Rikers.
Dietl's real fire, though, is reserved for de Blasio.
"He's like a robot," Dietl said. "I'd like to cut him open and see if he has a heart. I don't think the man has a heart."
A spokesman for the mayor's campaign did not directly respond to the attack, but said New Yorkers are rallying around de Blasio's record when it comes to crime, job creation and affordable housing.
As for the mayor, he announced three new hires for his campaign. Rick Fromberg, a former City Hall aide who also worked for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, will be his campaign manager.