“I am in the public arena, I have always been in the public arena, and I will always be in the public arena,” former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr. told The Observer this afternoon, when asked about whether he’s planning a return to elected office.
Carrion had just finished a lecture to to graduate students at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, in which he had joked about his exit from electoral politics, and hinted at a possible return.
“I was in position to be the next comptroller of the city–that was a dumb idea!” he told the crowd. “And I still have two million dollars in the bank from that race and it’s just sitting there!”
Carrion abandoned his comptroller candidacy around this time two years ago, when the Obama administration plucked him to head its new Office of Urban Affairs. He left that cabinet-level position in May to serve as the regional director for HUD’s New York-New Jersey office. The move appeared to be a demotion, though there were reports that Carrion missed New York and might be looking at a way back into the city’s political mix. Carrion was said to be waiting for an invitation to run alongside Andrew Cuomo as his lieutenant governor nominee, but the invite never came.
Carrion conceded today that he’s never given up his interest in elected life.
“I always knew that at some point in the future I’d probably run for office,” he said after the event, suggesting that $2 million might give him a leg up for any number of potential races. “By way of down payments, that’s not a bad down payment,” he said.