Sharpton Endorses de Blasio, Recalls Mark Green and 2001

The Rev. Al Sharpton endorsed Bill de Blasio for public advocate this morning at City Hall. It’s Sharpton’s first endorsement of a citywide candidate this year.

At the event, Sharpton was asked to assess the candidacy of Mark Green, the front-runner and former public advocate.

“I have not seen much of Mr. Green’s campaign where I have been,” said Sharpton.

One reporter asked if the endorsement was “damaging” to Green, who Sharpton worked closely with in the 1990s when Rudy Giuliani was mayor.

“He and I have had a very interesting history since the ’90s. There’s a thing called 2001,” said Sharpton, referring to the year when Green narrowly defeated Fernando Ferrer in a racially divisive run-off for the Democratic Party’s mayoral nomination.

“But again, I think Bill de Blasio’s the best candidate,” said Sharpton.

When I asked Shaprton what he meant by referring to 2001, he said he was responding to a reporter’s question that referred to the 1990s. “I just brought up that we didn’t end our history in the ’90s.”

“This is not an anti–Mark Green” endorsement, said Shaprton. “This is pro–de Blasio.”

When asked about the mayor’s race, Sharpton said he’d endorse soon. He was asked whether it was a difficult decision.

“No, not at all. I just haven’t announced yet,” he said. “I don’t believe in holding two press conferences at once.”

Sharpton Endorses de Blasio, Recalls Mark Green and 2001