Sen. Eric Adams is a mayoral candidate-in-waiting.
The Brooklyn Democrat acknowledged being poised to jump into the 2009 race – and the upcoming 2013 race – but instead deferred to clear a path for former city Controller William Thompson.
Adams said he has had two conversations with Thompson about running for mayor, including one that occurred in Albany just two weeks ago.
“I said to him, ‘I need to know what you’re going to do 3-1/2 years from now.’ And he said, ‘Yes, Eric, I’m definitely going to do it,’” Adams said. “I was going to put together a committee to run. But I’m taking him at his word, and I’m falling in behind him.”
Adams said he’ll reconsider if Thompson changes his mind.
Last year, Adams said he told Thompson he would not let Mayor Bloomberg run without Democratic opposition if the controller was uncertain about running.
Thompson did run, coming closer than expected to beating Bloomberg. He finished 4.6 percentage points behind the billionaire mayor, who dropped $102 million to win a third term and outspent Thompson by more than 10 to 1.
Bloomberg insists he won’t try to change the rules again to seek a fourth term. Thompson decided against running for statewide office this year and took a job in the private sector. He said in January he’ll run for mayor again in 2013.
If both Adams and Thompson ran, they would split the black vote and cut the chance of electing the second black mayor in the city’s history.
Adams, a former NYPD officer elected to the state Senate in 2006, is known for his outspoken and at times flamboyant style.
In 2007, he had a memorable “Jerry Maguire” moment on the Senate floor, declaring, “Show me the money!” during a debate over increasing legislators’ pay. He recently launched a “Stop the Sag!” billboard campaign that urges teens to pull up their pants.
– Hoping to turn the Democratic attorney general primary into a three-person contest, lawyer Sean Coffey is lashing out at the top two contenders, saying they have an “Espada problem.”
Coffey, one of five Dems vying to run for AG, accused Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice of “cavorting” with the scandal-scarred Senate majority leader’s lawyer, Steve Pigeon, when it was clear AG Andrew Cuomo was investigating Pedro Espada Jr. – a probe the next AG could inherit.
Rice met with Pigeon and his political patron, state Independence Party founder Tom Golisano in Florida, in March to ask for Golisano’s support. Golisano had a hand in last year’s Senate coup that led to Pigeon’s job as Espada’s counsel.
In April, Cuomo sued Espada, accusing him of “looting” his Bronx health care center’s assets. Coffey said it was widely known that Espada was in Cuomo’s cross hairs and that Rice “advanced her own candidacy at the cost of perhaps being effective in pursuing the misconduct, should she become AG.”
Coffey also slammed state Sen. Eric Schneiderman, another AG hopeful, for negotiating the deal that brought Espada back to the Dems.
In response, Rice spokeswoman Tracy Sefl called Coffey a “multimillionaire corporate attorney whose self-funded campaign has grown increasingly desperate” and accused him of “distorting the truth.”
Schneiderman spokesman James Freedland said Coffey has “no record of reforming anything” and “chose to get rich and watch from the sidelines” while Schneiderman left a private law practice to go into public service.