32BJ Endorses Bill de Blasio as Runoff Limbo Continues

Bill de Blasio. (Photo: Getty)

Bill de Blasio. (Photo: Getty)

The executive board of 32BJ voted tonight to endorse Public Advocate Bill de Blasio in the Democratic primary for mayor, dealing a serious blow to Bill Thompson, who is still holding out hope for a runoff.

The union, which is one of the city’s largest, had previously backed Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a distant third place finisher in the race.

“The executive board of 32BJ met tonight and voted to endorse Bill de Blasio for mayor,” said Hector Figueroa, the president of 32BJ, an influential union representing building workers. “Bill has long been a friend of our union, and he has put the concerns of working families front and center in his campaign. We look forward to throwing our very robust field operation into full gear to elect Bill de Blasio.”

Mr. de Blasio finished last night with about 40 percent of the vote–within range of avoiding a runoff. Yet thousands of paper ballots have yet to be counted, and Mr. Thompson has vowed to stay in the race until they are tallied next week.

But pressure appears to be mounting for Mr. Thompson to bow out of the race. New York State Board of Regents Chancellor Meryl Tisch, the chairwoman of Mr. Thompson’s campaign, hinted today that Mr. Thompson should consider dropping out.

“I don’t think there’s much appetite within the Democratic Party to have a fight here,” she told the New York Times.

There is also speculation that the United Federation of Teachers, which endorsed Mr. Thompson, could wind up pulling its nod and backing Mr. de Blasio. But UFT President Michael Mulgrew said in a statement that no decision had yet been made: “We are awaiting the final count.”