Emotions Run High as Christine Quinn Makes Her Final Pitch

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Christine Quinn embraced Violet Bennett, who broke into tears when she spotted Ms. Quinn.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn made her final pitch to voters this afternoon as the former front-runner faces the once unfathomable prospect of not even making it into the expected runoff election.

Traveling through the Bronx and across the Upper West Side, Mr. Quinn urged supporters to get to the polls, offered thankful “yay!”s and hugs to those who’d already voted, and experienced what she described as the best moment of the entire campaign trail.

Ms. Quinn was standing on the corner of West 97th Street and Columbus Avenue when 12-year-old Victoria Bennett recognized the speaker while walking home from school.

“Wait–is that Christine Quinn?!” she shouted, stopping in her tracks. “Oh my God!” she shrieked, overjoyed and bursting into tears. “Oh my God!”

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Christine Quinn with Violet and Kathryn Bennett.

Ms. Quinn quickly rushed over to the little girl, embracing her in a giant hug.

“What’s your name she asked? … That’s a beautiful name.”

Barely able to speak after the encounter, the sobbing girl and her twin sister, Kathryn, explained that they’d seen Ms. Quinn on TV. “I watch the news a lot,” she said. “I just can’t believe it’s her.”

The encounter left an impression on both Ms. Quinn and her wife, Kim Catullo, who had joined her wife on the trail.

“Just wow,” said Ms. Catullo, marveling after the exchange. She said that moments like that helped Ms. Quinn deal with the more stressful aspects of the race. “She’s so strong. I have no idea how she’s doing it. But she’s driven by the folks who come to her like that little girl.”

Still, the tone among supporters was undeniably concerned about Ms. Quinn’s overall status in the race.

“Hoping for the best,” said one supporter outside a Fairway grocery store farther south.

“I think you’ll do a great job,” offered another, “if you get in.”

“We’ll see what happens,” said Joe Olshefski, 60, a supporter who lives on the Upper West Side.

But Ms. Quinn downplayed their tone.

“I think anybody on Primary Day or Election Day is concerned about their candidate,” she explained to the three reporters covering the stop–where front-runner Bill de Blasio yesterday was mobbed by a gaggle of fans and reporters so large shoppers couldn’t walk passed. “You don’t want supporters who aren’t concerned about your future, right? You want people to be invested in whether or not you’re going to right.”

The same, she said earlier, applied to herself.

“If you’re not nervous on game day, you’re not really in it,” she said, stressing she felt “very confident” she’d made it to the expected runoff.

Other voters concurred with Ms. Quinn’s confidence.

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Christine Quinn on the campaign trail.

“I love Christine! I love her policies. I love everything about her,” said Geraldine Woods, 47, who had just come from casting her ballot for Ms. Quinn. “She’s got it!”

But regardless of what happens, Ms. Catullo, who has been described as Ms. Quinn’s rock, said things would be O.K.

“I’ve always said I’m a winner either way: Either I get to watch her do amazing things with the city or I get to spend more time with her.”