Although Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is vying to be the city’s first openly gay mayor, has scored many LGBT-oriented Democratic club endorsements in her bid, that hasn’t always been the case.
A couple weeks ago, an LGBT club led by a loud Quinn critic, the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, threw its support behind former Comptroller Bill Thompson. And last night, a club headed by a Quinn supporter, the Lesbian & Gay Democratic Club of Queens, voted to endorse Comptroller John Liu for City Hall.
Mr. Liu received 57 percent of the club members’ vote, compared to 37 percent for Ms. Quinn, according to the Liu campaign. Mr. Thompson received 3 percent, as did Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.
“The club president was in favor of Christine Quinn and there were others that spoke up in favor of her, and they all got applause,” the club’s former president, Bruce Friedman, told Politicker this afternoon. “Our club has a history of being independent. Even though we’re LGBT, that doesn’t always mean the LGBT candidate is the best candidate for the job in our eyes.”
Mr. Friedman, who described Mr. Liu as “the most absolute person with integrity” despite the campaign finance convictions against two of his former associates, said the comptroller has a long history with the club, going back to 1997 when they endorsed him for the City Council. As to last night, he recalled, “I and others were a little ambivalent as to whether we were going to pull it off last night. Miraculously and ecstatically, I have to say that John won the day.”
“She’ll probably be angry at me, you know, but what am I going to do?” Mr. Friedman said of Ms. Quinn. “I have to go with my conscience and I have to go with who I feel is the best candidate.”
Even though Mr. Liu hails from the borough, Ms. Quinn was endorsed by Queens County’s Democratic organization and will likely receive much of the local establishment’s support.