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Attorney general candidates still waiting for Mayor Bill de Blasio to pick his favorite

After first lady Chirlane McCray endorsed Zephyr Teachout on Tuesday, de Blasio was pushed to pick a primary candidate.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has not endorsed an

Mayor Bill de Blasio has not endorsed an attorney general candidate, despite first lady Chirlane McCray pledging her support to Zephyr Teachout on Tuesday, Sep. 4, 2018. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

First lady Chirlane McCray has made an endorsement, but her husband says he’s still undecided.

After McCray endorsed Zephyr Teachout for attorney general on Tuesday, citing the law professor’s “courage” and “progressive values,” de Blasio said he’s still making up his mind on state primary endorsements or whether to endorse at all. He plans to make up his mind this week, ahead of the Sept. 13 primary.

“There’s a lot of factors that I have to go into and I have to think about a lot of things, including all ramifications for this city,” de Blasio said at an unrelated news conference Tuesday. “That’s my first responsibility. So I’m continuing to do that and I will come to a decision this week and I will tell everyone what it is.”

Teachout, who received her first major endorsement in McCray, is running against Public Advocate Letitia James, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney and Leecia Eve.

“This is obviously an example of the modern couple, and two people who have two independent lives,” de Blasio said, “and Chirlane is going to speak her mind and do what she believes is the right thing to do when it comes to political matters.”

Both de Blasio and McCray are much friendlier with gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon, a Teachout ally, than Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who supports James for the seat.

After the Democratic gubernatorial debate last week between Nixon and Cuomo, de Blasio described the governor’s performance as “a little desperate” but did not go as far as endorsing Nixon.

“I call ’em like I see ’em,” de Blasio said Tuesday of his debate response. “I felt for someone who had never debated in her life, particularly, Cynthia did an extraordinary job and she raised a lot of important issues and I was surprised by the governor’s tone.”

Earlier on Tuesday, The New York Times’ editorial board published a reluctant endorsement of Cuomo for a third term, citing his governing experience while bashing his stewardship of the MTA, which the paper said he has let “rot” on his watch.

Regardless of his endorsement, the mayor said the gubernatorial race reflects the changing tides of the Democratic Party, nationally, and credited it for breaking up the Independent Democratic Conference in the state Senate.

“I think one thing we can say for sure is that this primary has been very productive as an airing of different views in terms of the future of the state, in terms of the future of the Democratic Party. It’s been a positive experience and I think a necessary one,” de Blasio said. “I think you see this happening all over the country — that there’s a lot of change in the air and this primary is an expression of that.”


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