Appelbaum, Quinn and the Next Mayor’s Race

R.W.D.S.U., a union that is one of Bill Thompson’s most important institutional supporters, is backing one of Michael Bloomberg’s key legislative allies, Christine Quinn, in an upcoming primary.

It’s not a shocker: Quinn is in a three-way primary for re-election that she’ll probably win handily. But the undertone here is interesting, since she helped steer many of Bloomberg’s policies through the Council, including the extension of term limits, which Thompson, and R.W.D.S.U. leader Stuart Appelbaum, railed against energetically.

Appelbaum said his union technically didn’t take a position on term limits, and that he considers Quinn “the most pro-labor speaker” the city has ever had.

Politically, though, Quinn is not out of the woods yet, said Appelbaum.

“If she wants to run for mayor in the future, it will be hard if she does not support the Democratic nominee this time around,” Appelbaum told me. “After the primary, people are going to be looking to see what she does.”

Appelbaum said, “You can’t back down from the principles of the Democratic Party this time around” and seek the party’s support later.

When I noted that some Democrats endorsed Bloomberg four years ago without paying any discernible price, Appelbaum said, “And are they running for citywide office this time around?”

Quinn has said that she’ll endorse in the mayor’s race once the Democratic primary is settled.