Queens Democratic County Leader and Representative Joe Crowley isn’t ruling out the idea of supporting Michael Bloomberg over a Democratic candidate in next year’s mayoral race.
A reporter asked Crowley this morning if he is “open” to the idea of Bloomberg running in next year’s Democratic mayoral primary. Bloomberg, who is not registered in any party, could run as a Democrat if he gets written permission from three of the city's five county leaders.
Crowley, sitting in the ballroom of the Regency Hotel, where he spoke to a group of business leaders (and was introduced by Bloomberg), was quiet for a moment. Then he repeated the question and said, “It’s a free county, people can do whatever they want. But I do know that we have Democrats that are interested in that position.”
Crowley noted that there are at least two Democrats interested in running–Bill Thompson and Anthony Weiner–but that the race is a long way off.
(There is actually another declared candidate, longshot Tony Avella, a City Councilman from Queens.)
As a follow-up, I asked Crowley if he is somehow obligated to support someone from his own party.
“I’m not committed to doing anything at this point,” Crowley said. “And what we do is take our direction primarily from the leaders of our party–really from those at the grassroots of the party–the district leaders. I haven’t heard from those folks. It’s still a little premature.”
Last night, Bloomberg spoke at a community meeting organized by Brooklyn Democratic County Leader Vito Lopez, who seemed supportive of Bloomberg’s re-election efforts.
The 2009 race will be the mayor's third citywide race, but his first since leaving the Republican Party. He has not specified which ballot line he'd like to appear on.