Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer Will Seek Re-Election

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who’s been contemplating a 2009 bid for citywide office, will seek re-election to his current post, according to a person with first-hand knowledge of the campaign.

A formal announcement is expected sometime later today.

Stringer, an impressive (and posh) fund-raiser, reported taking in $1,503,995 in last July’s campaign finance filings. He is not expected to face a serious challenge.

Speculation about Stringer’s career options have been talked about for some time. Unlike the four other borough presidents, he isn’t term-limited until 2017.

Had he entered the public advocate race, which many rumors said he would, Stringer’s money, exposure to Manhattan voters (who turn out in disproportionately large numbers) and history as a reformer in Albany would have put him among the leading candidates.

Some political operatives wondered if Stringer would vacate his seat now that Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum isn’t seeking re-election. By staying out of the race, he risks facing an incumbent in four years if he wants to run then.

The plan now is that Stringer wins re-election to the Manhattan borough president’s office and spends the term consolidating his base of support and raising money. In four years, he’ll be better positioned to run for citywide office, possibly even for mayor– the path that worked for David Dinkins.

UPDATE: Here’s an announcement Stringer’s campaign just emailed to supporters:

With this history-making election over, it is time to focus on the work ahead of us here in New York City. I have decided that the best way for me to contribute to that work is by seeking re-election as Manhattan Borough President.

Since taking office, I have asked each and every day how the Borough President’s Office can do more for the people of Manhattan. Now, as we face an unprecedented financial crisis, this question is pressed upon us with a new and sobering urgency.

In my first term, I’ve strengthened Community Boards and created a land use fellowship so neighborhoods can play a larger role in planning their futures. I’ve given communities around the borough the tools to become greener and healthier, including the creation of a stand-alone asthma center in East Harlem. And I’ve pushed to reform City government, so that it works smarter and plans ahead, whether by building new schools where they are most needed, or setting priorities for new infrastructure and public projects.

Now is a time for public servants to rededicate ourselves with renewed purpose and passion to the roles with which we have been entrusted. So I intend to ask the people of Manhattan for the privilege of serving them again. If they do, my pledge is to keep working to raise the bar for what they can expect from their Borough President.

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer Will Seek Re-Election