‘Green’ Espaillat Welcomes Bloomberg’s Support, Connor Says He Didn’t Want It Anyway

Thirty-year incumbent State Senator Marty Connor’s opponent, the Schumer-back first-time candidate Dan Squadron, was just endorsed by Michael Bloomberg.

Connor told me he’s not interested in the mayor’s support.

Reached on his cell phone just now, the senator said, “I’m proud that I have Democrats supporting me. The last time I looked, Mike Bloomberg wasn’t a Democrat. He was helping the Republicans keep the State Senate.”

Republican political consultant Gerry O’Brien isn’t sure what to make of Bloomberg’s support of Squadron.

“It could be an anti-Albany thing. It could be a pro-Schumer thing,” he said. Overall, however, he said the message is, “Mike Bloomberg still counts, he matters.”

Squadron was only one of three candidates (so far?) to get the mayor’s endorsement today.

Adriano Espaillat, a Democratic Assemblyman who took the mayor’s endorsement today over his Democratic challenger, City Councilman Miguel Martinez, said he has Bloomberg’s support because he is "a green candidate." Espaillat, speaking on his cell phone from his district in Washington Heights, said he supported congestion pricing and the mayor’s garbage plan.

Espaillat pushed back against the idea that Bloomberg is on some kind of anti-establishment campaign (in addition to Connor, he endorsed challenger Simcha Felder for State Senate over the incumbent), noting that he is, himself, a close ally of Sheldon Silver.

"[I] work very close to the speaker," Espaillat said.

He doesn’t blame Silver for congestion pricing’s failure because, the assemblyman said, "The vast majority of my colleagues didn’t support it."

Hours after congestion pricing was declared dead, Silver was chastized, on NY1, by Bloomberg aide Kevin Sheekey, who said Silver lacked "courage."

Espaillat disagrees.

"Nobody can say Sheldon Silver lacks courage," he said. "I have the greatest respect for the man."

Espaillat said he wasn’t sure if Bloomberg was angling to run for governor in 2010, and added that mayor would have to be a candidate before he would declare support. Espaillat also said he’s working very closely with the current governor, who has already announced plans to seek re-election.

‘Green’ Espaillat Welcomes Bloomberg’s Support, Connor Says He Didn’t Want It Anyway