Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz told me outside Borough Hall this morning that he took the “first step” in running for mayor last night – with the help of none other than Mike Bloomberg. Here’s how he said it went:
“It went very well. It was very generous of the mayor to hold the fund-raiser on my behalf. As you know, I have a wonderful working relationship with the mayor…I endorsed him for mayor, and everything he’s done to date has just reinforced that I made the right decision.”
Did he chat with Bloomberg about the recent change on his voter registration card?
“Well let me tell you what I did do: I declared yesterday Michael Bloomberg Independence Day in New York City. That’s what I declared, and I think he got a kick out of it.”
At that point, half a dozen reporters at the event (which was supposed to be about efficient air conditioning) gathered around the man who says he’d be the “second shortest mayor in the city history — and maybe one of the chubbiest.”
But back to Bloomberg.
“He did what he feels is in the best interest of New York City and his future as well, so listen, he was never really in my opinion what you would call a traditional Republican.”
Markowitz called his Bloomberg-sponsored fund-raiser a “first step in a journey to the possibility of seeking the mayoralty in 2009.”
“It’s only a first step in and I’ve not yet made a decision whatsoever. Being borough president is one thing. Being mayor is something truly real.
“For everyday I don’t decide it makes it more and more challenging…I have to take into consideration whether or not of the outstanding candidates we have running, announced or we know is going to announce, do I bring something to the table that is different, unique, and what New Yorkers want. And I’ve gotta tell you everyday I go back and forth.”
How much did he raise? He wasn’t sure.
“We had an expectation maybe of $250,000 and I hope I did a little better than that, we’ll find out…It’s a long a difficult road raising that money.”
Although Markowitz has endorsed Hillary Clinton, which he said he is “thrilled” about, when pressed he had praise for a Bloomberg candidacy – and even affirmed that the move to independent was a step – like his own first step last night for the mayor run – toward possibly entering the presidential fray.
“You never know what’s gonna happen and Michael Bloomberg remains an unbelievably attractive candidate, I really, really, really, really believe that. Unbelievably attractive. And so let’s see what happens as we go forward. He has to make up his mind as well, you know. So he’s taking the steps, let’s see what happens. It’s still early.”