New York City is a liberal place. This isn’t surprising to anyone. In fact, the city’s residents haven’t voted for a Republican president since Calvin Coolidge in 1924. It’s not shocking Obama received over 80 percent of their vote in 2012 or that Mayor Bill de Blasio was elected in 2013 with over 73 percent of the general election vote. However, being a liberal mayor of a liberal city doesn't ensure an easy life.
Bill de Blasio will be up for reelection next year in the Big Apple and there are people wishing to see him go. If the mayor were to ever face a stiff reelection, it would be in the form of a primary challenge. De Blasio, despite touting extremely liberal credentials, has made quite a few power players unhappy with him. These people are not Republicans – they are Democrats.
President Obama has not been thrilled with the New York mayor after he said the president had ‘showed up late’ to the income inequality game. The governor of New York and de Blasio have butted heads for quite some time. As for the Democratic presidential hopeful – Clinton didn’t appreciate waiting so long for the mayor’s endorsement in the 2016 election. Clinton’s campaign in return gave de Blasio an embarrassing afternoon speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention.
Mix this with de Blasio’s terrible relationship with the New York Police Department and mounting scandals in his administration and you get an opening for a primary challenge against the mayor.
Walks in Shaun Donovan - a past aide to former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg and President Obama’s budget director. He insists he isn’t sure about a mayoral candidacy at this time – wishing to see his kids graduate. Despite his hesitancy, Donovan has continued to be inundated with calls by anti-de Blasio forces encouraging him to run. They believe he is the best option to oust the current mayor from office.
It would be a tough call for Donovan. He has never run for office before and lacks a core Democratic base. De Blasio capitalized heavily off the large black and Latino population in New York City.
However, Donovan would receive a helping hand. NYC Deserves Better is a group formed with the goal of unseating de Blasio in next year’s election. The group is headed by Bradley Tusk, an advisor to former mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Tusk has already conducted polling on Mayor Bloomberg against other hypothetical candidates. He is certain an anti-de Blasio candidate would pull in millions in donations from New York business groups turned off by the current mayor, and garner support from progressives and union members.
Other candidates who have been polled as hypothetical challengers are MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, former NY police commissioner Ray Kelly, and 2013 Republican candidate John Catsimatidis.
No matter who decides to challenge the embattled mayor of New York City, it is looking like strong opposition is brewing.