Paterson Says No Thompson Endorsement for 2009

In a departure from the Spitzer-precedent, David Paterson said he’s not going to endorse in next year’s Democratic primary for mayor.

During an African-American Day parade in Harlem yesterday, Paterson made several references to City Comptroller Bill Thompson possibly being the next mayor of the city (as he does in the clip above).

After the parade, I asked Paterson what role he might play in the primary.

“I think everybody knows Bill’s a good friend of mine. Our fathers served in the State Senate together. But I think Bill Thompson is perfectly capable of winning on his own. He doesn’t need me, and the other candidates have been very supportive me. Chris Quinn, Anthony Weiner, they’re good friends of mine, so, I’m not going to endorse in the primary.”

“At all?” I asked.

“I wouldn’t think I would,” he said.

Later, I saw former Mayor David Dinkins, who reacted to Paterson’s plan. “Will it have any impact? Oh, of course. The governor is a very important political figure.” He added, “Who knows? Maybe between now and then he might decide to endorse Billy Thompson. You never can tell.”

Dinkins has said he’s supporting Thompson–not a huge surprise, since he’s recently hinted as much.

Paterson’s predecessor, Eliot Spitzer, got involved early in the 2005 mayoral race by endorsing Fernando Ferrer. Both men shared the same consultants at Global Strategy Group.

Paterson Says No Thompson Endorsement for 2009