1/25/13

Albanese Sees a Wide-Open Race

Interviewed by Brooklyn Bureau, former Democratic City Council Member from Bay Ridge and 1997 mayoral candidate Sal Albanese was unfazed by the competition, calling the crowded New York City mayoral race "wide-open".

Albanese, who left his job as managing director of Mesirow Financial in December and lent his campaign $100,000, is running full-time.

He sees 2013 offering the chance for a do-over of the 1997 mayoral race, when he placed a surprisingly strong third behind eventual Democratic nominee Ruth Messinger, the Manhattan Borough President.

Albanese pulled 21% of the vote that year with $970,000 in campaign spending. Messinger's 39% of the vote cost her campaign $3.7 million. 

As in 1997, this year's crowded Democratic Primary will likely end in a runoff, so second place would mean a second shot for Albanese.  If the four major Democratic candidates split the major supporters and the electorate, it could create an opening for a dark horse candidate like Albanese.

Albanese has a well-earned reputation as a tough, principled, independent politician: an early adopter of now-mainstream progressive causes like gay marriage, term limits, women's reproductive rights, campaign finance reform and the Living Wage; a Barack Obama supporter when the rest of New York went for Hillary; an enemy of the Brooklyn machine -- before it was hip.

His keen political instincts and common touch promise an unexpectedly strong run.

Albanese sees his stint in the private sector as both a drawback and an asset to his candidacy.  While he's lost name recognition, he said, he's gained the kind of perspective career politicians can't have.   

Calling Mayor Michael Bloomberg on balance a good mayor, Albanese faulted him as out-of- touch with the outer boroughs and increasingly hostile to labor.

The article from the Brooklyn Bureau.

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