Independence Party Goes to Bat for Carrión

(Photo: Facebook)

(Photo: Facebook)

The Independence Party is fuming that likely candidate Adolfo Carrión was not invited to last night’s Daily News mayoral forum, going so far as to blast out a statement last night tearing into the paper–the clearest indication yet that the ex-Bronx Borough President is likely to receive their coveted (and controversial) endorsement.

“The Daily News … has articulated no clear criteria for inclusion but its decision clearly discriminates against independents, which Mr. Carrión is,” said Cathy Stewart, a spokesperson for the New York City Independence Party. “This exclusion is an affront to democracy and the 1 million New Yorkers who are independent. The Daily News is supposed to cover elections, not pre-determine them.”

Prior to this latest incident, the Daily News and the Independence Party already weren’t on the best of terms. Much of the controversy surrounding the party was sparked by a series of front page editorials that appeared in the News late last year that slammed the party for placing “unwilling and unwitting voters” on its governing committees and for confusing voters who believe they are simply registering as “independent” when they join the party.

A former Democrat and Obama Administration official, Mr. Carrión has courted both Republican leaders and the Independence Party for his potential mayoral bid. However, as a registered independent, Mr. Carrión would need the blessing of three out of the five Republican county chairmen to run on the GOP line, the prospect of which has appeared to dwindle with former M.T.A. Chairman Joe Lhota leaping into the race.

Whether or not he gets to run on the Republican line, a spokesman for Mr. Carrión indicated he would be willing to run on the Independence Party’s line alone.

“Adolfo appreciates the support he is receiving from the leadership of the Independence and Republican parties,” he said. “New Yorkers concerned about fixing their schools and growing the economy will be able to support his independent vision for New York City whether he’s on one, two or three different ballot lines.”

A press coordinator for last night’s debate did not return a request for comment.