Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins told reporters today he wanted to see a woman challenge Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2017–arguing that a member of the fairer sex would bring a much-needed feminine touch to the office.
The union leader, known for being a harsh critic of City Hall, argued at a roundtable discussion in Manhattan that Mr. de Blasio has sown ethnic division in the city over the past year and claimed a woman could heal the racial rifts that have formed. Mr. Mullins argued that women are uniquely suited to such a conciliatory role.
“I’d like to see a woman. I think that would be good for the city in a lot of ways, I think. Women are less aggressive in a lot of ways, and I think that based on all the tension that’s occurring–you know, the racial tension and the police tension–I think maybe you’re right to have a competent woman mayor,” he said. “I think it should be the most competent person, but I think a woman, for the position, I think is a sensitive position. I think we need a smart, sharp woman mayor, would be a good way to deal with all people. They’re just not as aggressive, and there’s a lot of highly intelligent women out there.”
“I just feel that in this city, based on all the tension that’s occurred, a woman as mayor brings a softer approach. We need a sharp, intelligent woman who brings a softer approach to deal with all people, because right now we see things becoming polarized and divided,” he continued.
Mr. Mullins argued that Mr. de Blasio capitalized on racial tension and division over the police tactic of stop-and-frisk to carry him into office.
“De Blasio saw an issue he thought he could run on and get elected, and he did. But you still have people in minority neighborhoods getting killed,” he said. “You have to take the topic of race, and you don’t ignore it, you stay aware of it, but you don’t make it your mandate.”
Mr. Mullins–a registered Republican whose union frequently endorses Democrats for office–argued that the sweeping Democratic defeats in New York State on Election Day are a sign that voters are tired of the mayor’s message.
“Going forward, I’d like to see someone who is a mayor for all people. You know, this ‘tale of two cities’ thing is getting old,” he said.
The most prominent female leader to indicate she might challenge the mayor is Success Charter Schools CEO Eva Moskowitz–but Mr. Mullins said he has not seriously weighed supporting her yet.
“I don’t have anybody in mind,” he said. “I don’t know her personally, I don’t know her very well. And I haven’t looked deeply into her background. I know who she is. I’ve had no dealings with her.”