Mayoral Campaign Roundtable

The 2013 race for mayor included over 10 major candidates, over 300 public forums, a few unexpected announcements that derailed candidacies, and resulted in the election of the first Democratic mayor in New York City in 24 years.

The lively discussion included critiques of political journalism and New York City's Campaign Finance Board, strategic reflections about which advertisements were effective in influencing campaign outcomes, the impact of independent expenditures, and much more.

NY1 anchor Errol Louis moderated the discussion with representatives from the Albanese, Carrion, de Blasio, Lhota, Liu, Quinn, Thompson and Weiner campaigns.

[youtube width="640" height="360"][/youtube]

The Center will soon publish a full transcript of the event's discussion, which will be available in print and online. Check back here for updates.

—List of participants—

Moderator: Errol Louis, NY1

Panelists by campaign:

New Yorkers for de Blasio

  • John Del Cecato
  • Rebecca Katz
  • Jessica Singleton

Christine Quinn for NYC Mayor

  • Matt Tepper
  • Anthony Hogrebe

Bill Thompson for Mayor

  • Jonathan Prince

John Liu for Mayor 2013

  • Chung Seto
  • Josiel Estrella
  • Luther Smith

Anthony Weiner for Mayor

  • Barbara Morgan

Sal Albanese for Mayor

  • Chris McCreight

Joe Lhota for Mayor

  • Vincent Balascio
  • Jake Menges
  • Jessica Proud

Carrion 2013

  • Donald Kaplan

Additional Commentators, in order of appearance

  • Angelo Falcon, National Institute for Latino Policy
  • John Mollenkopf and Steve Romalewski, CUNY Graduate Center
  • Steve Greenberg, the Siena Poll
  • Jerry Goldfeder, special counsel, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, LLP


—2013 New York City Mayoral Campaign: Timeline—

October 26th, 2009

Quinn endorses Thompson for mayor. The New York Times (NYT) calls it the “oddest and most unloving endorsement ever.”

June 16th, 2011

Anthony Weiner resigns from congressional office weeks after inadvertently sending “sext” message to all of his Twitter followers.

February 15th, 2012

A federal grand jury indicts Xing Wu Pan, a top fundraiser for the city comptroller, John C. Liu, on charges that he helped illegally direct thousands of dollars into Mr. Liu’s campaign account.

April 27th, 2012

John Liu’s campaign Treasurer, Jenny Hou, is charged with making false statements to the FBI. She already faced conspiracy, wire fraud and obstruction of justice charges brought in February 2012.

November 21st, 2012

Quinnipiac University poll finds Quinn has big early lead in New York City mayoral race. With a 65 percent approval rating, higher than Mayor Michael Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn goes into the 2013 NYC mayoral election year with a commanding 32 percent of the Democratic Primary vote, more than the combined take of the other four known candidates.

December 13th, 2012

UFCW Local 1500 endorses Quinn for mayor before she officially announces her candidacy, citing her progressive stance on health care, food policy, Walmart and workers' wages.

January 16th, 2013

The National Action Network hosts what is called the first mayoral forum of the race, with Liu, Quinn, Albanese, de Blasio and Thompson in attendance.

February 21st, 2013

The Independence Party endorses Adolfo Carrion Jr. for mayor, first candidate to be guaranteed a spot on the ballot for general election. He is also seeking the support of Republican county committees for a place on the GOP primary ballot

March 4th, 2013

Candidate Bill de Blasio calls for universal pre-K in NYC schools.

March 18th, 2013

Republican candidate Tom Allon drops out of the race.

March 20th, 2013

Bronx Republicans endorse Lhota, dealing a serious blow to Adolfo Carrión’s chances of running on the GOP line.

March 25th, 2013

NYT article about Quinn reports she frequently yells at and threatens council members and staff who disagree with her, and has cut funding for services in districts whose council members oppose her.

April 2nd, 2013

Democratic state Senator Malcolm Smith indicted on charges of attempted bribery in an effort to be permitted to run as a Republican in the mayoral primary.

April 9th, 2013

Brooklyn Republican County Committee follows two other borough committees in endorsing John Catsimatidis for mayor, ending Adolfo Carrion’s hopes of landing a spot on the GOP ballot. Carrion critiques a “corrupted, possibly, allegedly, criminal” endorsement process.

April 10th, 2013

Quinnipiac reports that 32% of voters support Quinn, 14% support De Blasio, 13% support Thompson and 7% support Liu.

April 10th, 2013

Liu publishes his “People’s Budget,” a 4-year plan that claims to include revenue generation and cost-savings proposals that would produce nearly $15 billion in new resources and lead to approximately 35,000 new jobs.

April 24th, 2013

The first televised debate on NY1 is held, with a focus on public safety. The debate features Quinn, de Blasio, Liu, Thompson, Albanese, and Salgado. The debate over whether to end “stop and frisk” is the evening’s most controversial topic.

May 2nd, 2013

Liu’s former campaign treasurer and a campaign fundraiser are convicted of illegal fundraising and using straw donors.

May 8th, 2013

City Council votes 45-3 in support of a bill requiring employers to provide paid sick days; Quinn concedes to hold vote after 3 years of holdup.

May 14th, 2013

The de Blasio campaign reports they have raised the maximum allowable amount for the primary.

May 15th, 2013

NY1 reports that the Board of Elections has proposed bringing back lever voting machines, which Bloomberg supports.

May 17th, 2013

1199/SEIU endorses de Blasio a month earlier than anticipated. The NYT reports that the 150-member executive committee voted unanimously to endorse de Blasio, which hasn’t happened in a primary more than 20 years.

May 20th, 2013

The Queens Democratic Party endorses Quinn.

May 22nd, 2013

Weiner announces he is entering the mayoral race with a video posted on his website at 1am. “Can we color New York City blue and throw away the crayons? At this stage of the mayoral campaign, none of the non-Democrats - the popular police commissioner, the Republican or the independent - lays a glove on the Democrats,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. The Quinnipiac poll reports that 49% of voters oppose Weiner’s entry into the race.

May 22nd, 2013

Quinnipiac Poll reports Quinn in the lead with 25%, followed by Weiner with 15%, and de Blasio and Thompson with 10% each.

May 27th, 2013

Catsimatidis is first mayoral candidate to air a TV commercial.

May 28th, 2013

Marist poll reports Quinn has 24% of registered voters’ support but Weiner has closed the gap, with 19% support. Support included 12% for de Blasio, 11% for Thompson, 8% for Liu, 1% for Albanese, with 23% still undecided.

May 29th, 2013

Liu is endorsed by District Council 37, the largest municipal labor union. Lillian Roberts of DC 37 says that her union voted unanimously to support Liu because it views him as the biggest supporter of organized labor.

May 29th, 2013

Thompson is endorsed by United Uniformed Workers of New York, a coalition of unions representing about 100,000 city law enforcement officials.

June 7th, 2013

Liu endorsed by International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 3 (with 30,000 members).

June 8th, 2013

A newly created PAC, New York City Is Not For Sale, runs its first “Anyone but Quinn” ad.

June 10th, 2013

Brooklyn-Queens Chapter of National Organization for Women endorses Liu; Manhattan NOW chapter endorses Quinn.

June 11th, 2013

Quinn releases memoir, Patience and Fortitude. De Blasio asks the Campaign Finance Board to rule on whether book promotion constitutes political spending.

June 12th, 2013

NY Observer poll finds that 55% of polled New Yorkers couldn’t name a single mayoral candidate.

June 19th, 2013

NYT reports that Quinn’s memoir sells only 100 copies in its first week on sale.

June 19th, 2013

The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) endorses Thompson. The union hadn’t made an endorsement for mayor since 2001. The NYT reports, “the days of unified labor are pretty long over.”

June 20th, 2013

NYC Board of Elections determines that lever voting machines will be used in the primary and runoff, but not the general election.

June 21st, 2013

The CUNY union, the Professional Staff Congress, endorses de Blasio, 4 years after endorsing Thompson. “Its highly educated membership is considered one of the more vociferously liberal and best informed in Democratic circles,” the NYT reports. “The endorsement is also prized because the union’s members have a track record of actually voting on Election Day.”      

June 25th, 2013

32BJ SEIU endorses Quinn.

June 26th, 2013

The Marist/WSJ/NBC poll reports Quinn is no longer in the lead; Weiner polls 25% support over Quinn’s 20%.  The same day, Quinnipiac releases a poll showing Weiner, Quinn and Thompson in a statistical dead heat (Quinn polling at 19%, Weiner at 17%, Thompson at 16%, de Blasio at 10%, Liu 7%), with 28% of voters still undecided. All candidates downplay the significance of the polls.

June 30th, 2013

The Daily News reminds readers that Thompson did not conduct any audits of CityTime while comptroller, as the cost rose from $73 to $670 million.

July 10th, 2013

New York Taxi Workers Alliance and Uniformed Firefighters Association endorse Thompson.

De Blasio is arrested protesting the closure of Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn.

July 10th, 2013

First televised Republican debate. All three candidates say they won’t step aside if Ray Kelly decides to join the race.

July 15th, 2013

Quinnipiac poll reports Weiner leading, with 25% of voter support, followed by Quinn with 22% and Thompson with 11%.

July 18th, 2013

Quinn is the first Democratic candidate to launch TV ads, with a spot promoting her as a fighter for the middle class.

July 18th, 2013

The NYTimes/Siena poll reports that Quinn is in the lead with 27% support to Weiner’s 18% support, Thompson and de Blasio both poll at 11%, Liu at 7%.  The poll also reports that 65% of those surveyed say they want the next mayor to move in a new direction.

July 18th, 2013

New website,, is launched. Animal rights lobby emerges as a major force opposing Quinn’s campaign.

July 20th, 2013

Top 5 Democratic contenders accept Al Sharpton’s challenge and sleep over in NYCHA’s Lincoln Houses in Harlem. They report being humbled by the experience. New York Daily News reports that in anticipation of the event, NYCHA sent crews Friday to tidy up the project before the candidates arrived, and tenants said they hadn’t seen that many police officers assigned to overnight duty in Lincoln in years.

July 23rd, 2013

News breaks that Weiner continued explicit online exchanges after his resignation from Congress in 2011. He and his wife appear in a joint press conference to respond to questions. Albanese, de Blasio, Catsimitidis, NYT, and NY Daily News call on Weiner to withdraw from the race.

July 25th, 2013

New Quinnipiac poll of likely Democratic voters says that if Thompson garners enough support for a runoff, he will win.

July 25th, 2013

Marist poll reports Quinn in lead with 25% support, with Weiner, Thompson, de Blasio in a statistical dead heat (16%:14%:14%) and Liu polling, consistently, at 7%.

July 27th, 2013

Weiner’s campaign manager, Danny Kedem, quits after a week of embarrassing revelations regarding Weiner’s “sexting” scandal.

July 28th, 2013

Thompson gives an impassioned reflection on race, Trayvon Martin and stop-and-frisk at a Brooklyn church.

July 29th, 2013

A new Quinnipiac poll shows support amongst likely Democratic voters for Weiner plummeting: “With six weeks to go, anything can happen, but it looks like former Congressman Anthony Weiner may have sexted himself right out of the race for New York City mayor,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

August 2nd, 2013

Thompson goes on a 24-hour tour of the city. The NYT reports that more candidates are hitting the Spanish language airwaves.

August 5th, 2013

The Campaign Finance Board announces its decision to deny Liu about $3.5M in matching funds, which his lawyer calls  “the death penalty for a minor transgression.”

August 8th, 2013

The first de Blasio TV ad airs, featuring  his 15 year old son Dante.

The Nation endorses de Blasio. The Sergeant’s Benevolent Association endorses Catsimatidis.

NYT/Siena poll reports Quinn in the lead, with 25% support, followed by Thompson with 16%, and de Blasio with 14%. Support for Weiner has plummeted down to 10%.

August 9th, 2013

Politicker reports that “super-PAC-like-groups,” formed by two major city unions (the UFT and the firefighters), have already spent over $650,000 in support of Thompson, with UFT spending the vast majority with their “United for the Future” campaign.

August 13th, 2013

Quinnipiac poll reports de Blasio in the lead with 30% support, followed by Quinn with 24%, Thompson with 22%, Weiner with 10%, Liu with 6%, Albanese with 1%.

51% of voters say they’d never vote for Weiner.

Thompson campaign releases 2 ads, says they will be a “compelling reintroduction” to the former comptroller. Both end with the tagline, "I'm Bill Thompson, and I'll always remember where I come from and who I'm standing up for."

August 21st, 2013

First of the debates sanctioned by the Campaign Finance Board.

August 22nd, 2013

The NY Daily News endorses Quinn for mayor: “Quinn... has distinguished herself in comparison largely because she has converted her beliefs into reality-based actions and plans that are the unexciting innards of governing.”

August 22nd, 2013

Hakeem Jeffries endorses Thompson, giving him the endorsement of 3 out of 4 of NYC’s black Congressional members (Yvette Clarke supports de Blasio).

August 23rd, 2013

The NY Post endorses Quinn, slightly unlovingly, and also endorses Joe Lhota on the Republican ticket. “If we were seeing today the Chris Quinn that we saw a few years ago, this would be a more enthusiastic endorsement….Ever since her mayoral campaign kicked in, however, she has lurched hard to the left, embracing the kind of ridiculous nostrums for which she had previously shown considerable and rightful contempt.”

August 24th 2013

NYT endorses Quinn, remarking that she “inspires the most confidence that she would be the right mayor for the inevitable times when hope and idealism collide with the challenge of getting something done... the city needs a mayor who is willing to say no.”

The NYT also endorses Lhota, remarking “few people know better than Mr. Lhota how city government works. He was an expert budget director for Mr. Giuliani, and then became deputy mayor for operations.”

August 25th 2013

Thompson becomes the first Democrat to release an attack ad, castigating de Blasio for calling himself “the only” candidate who wants to end stop-and-frisk.

August 26th 2013

Catsimatidis releases an attack ad against Lhota. Rudy Giuliani responds via a Lhota ad.

August 27th 2013

El Diario endorses Thompson, saying, “In a career that has been anything but boring, he has been a constant source of common sense and seriousness.”

August 27th 2013

Citizens Union endorses Thompson for mayor, citing his opposition to term limits as a factor. CU also endorses Lhota, saying, “he is well suited to move agencies to administer his agenda.”

August 28th, 2013

Quinnipiac poll shows de Blasio with 36% support of likely Democratic voters, Quinn 21%, Thompson 20%, Wiener 8%, Liu consistent at 6%.

September 3rd, 2013

Quinniapiac poll reports that de Blasio has enough support to avoid a runoff, with 43% of likely voters saying they’ll vote for him. Other candidates: Thompson 20%, Quinn 18%, Weiner 7%, Liu 4%. De Blasio is leading across all demographics and is well ahead of potential runoff opponents. Among Republicans, Lhota leads with 48% support, Catsimatidis has 24%.

A new PAC supporting Lhota, New Yorkers for Proven Leadership, receives a donation from the Koch brothers and runs its first ads.

New York Observer endorses Thompson and Lhota.

The final Democratic debate gets feisty, with Quinn, Thompson and Liu frequently attacking de Blasio, who is defended by Weiner on a few occasions.

September 7th, 2013

Mayor Bloomberg calls de Blasio’s campaign “racist.”

September 8th, 2013

WSJ-NBC 4 New York-Marist survey gives de Blasio 36% of the likely Democratic vote, with Thompson and Quinn are tied with 20%.

September 9th, 2013

Quinnipiac poll has de Blasio with a commanding lead of 39% support; Thompson with 25%, and Quinn with 18% support.

September 10th, 2013

De Blasio wins the Democratic primary. Exit polls show that he has won across many demographic groups, including black voters, women voters, LGBT voters. On election night, de Blasio hovers between 39% and 41%, Thompson 26%, Quinn 16%, Liu 7%, Weiner 5%. It is initially unclear if a runoff will be required.


Lhota wins the Republican primary. Both winning candidates live in Brooklyn.

de Blasio primary turnout

2013 Mayoral primary turnout


September 16th, 2013

Thompson concedes and endorses de Blasio. In his statement, Thompson emphasizes his outrage over the Board of Elections’ handling of the election: “We don’t know how many votes I got, or even how many votes were cast.”

Governor Cuomo, after a summer of silence on the New York City races, endorses de Blasio in the general election.

September 16th, 2013

In a press conference, Lhota claims that a de Blasio mayoralty will “tear down” the city’s progress of the last two decades.” He says that he and de Blasio both want change, but that de Blasio’s proposed changes are “radical” while his own are “practical.”

September 17th, 2013

Marist/WSJ/NBC4 poll reports de Blasio is 40 points ahead with 65% support of likely voters, Lhota has 22% support, Carrion 3%. Almost one-third of those polled say they don’t know enough about Lhota to state an opinion about him.

Quinn endorses de Blasio.

September 18th, 2013

The UFT endorses de Blasio; Lhota says UFT leader Mike Mulgrew isn’t returning his phone calls.

Both Hillary and Bill Clinton endorse de Blasio.

De Blasio reportedly has $1.3M on hand. Lhota has $383,131 and hires the state GOP fundraiser as his own new fundraiser.

September 19th, 2013

Quinnipiac poll finds de Blasio has 66% support, Lhota 25%, Carrion 2%. De Blasio has an especially commanding lead with black and Hispanic voters.

September 22nd, 2013

NYT publishes a front-page article about de Blasio’s 1980s support for the Sandinistas in Nicaragua (which he has not previously kept secret). Lhota calls de Blasio’s history troubling, Marxist, unfortunate, and radical. De Blasio’s response: It’s 2013.

September 25th, 2013

Lhota-supporting PAC, New York Progress and Protection PAC, sues NY election officials in federal court to allow individuals to contribute more than the current $150k maximum, citing Citizens United.

October 2nd, 2013

Quinnipiac reports de Blasio has 71% support, versus Lhota’s 21%, among likely voters; 38% of de Blasio’s supporters are “very enthusiastic” and an additional 49% are somewhat enthusiastic

Lhota releases first general election TV ad, which highlights common ground with de Blasio, but says de Blasio supports “reckless spending,” whereas Lhota will cut spending.

October 3rd, 2013

New York Magazine says de Blasio has entered the “big money phase,” throwing big fundraisers.

First de Blasio general election ad released.

October 8th, 2013

Lhota joins a rally of charter school advocates, which attracts a reported crowd of 17,000 people, who march over the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall.

October 14th, 2013

Lhota releases new ad attacking de Blasio’s position on charter schools.

October 15th, 2013

De Blasio’s campaign airs negative online ad, seeks to tie Lhota to the Tea Party.

First general election debate.

October 16th, 2013

Lhota campaign airs new negative ad, which insinuates that a de Blasio administration will mean a return to the high crime and other social ills of early 1990s New York.


October 18th, 2013

New de Blasio ad features daughter Chiara responding to Lhota attack ad, touting her father's policy initiatives.

October 21st, 2013

New Lhota ad features de Blasio’s primary opponents’ criticisms, mostly from a primary debate but also from other public appearances, set to a funky beat.

 October 22nd, 2013

New York Observer editorial board states that while, “ideologically, this page prefers the positions of Republican Joe Lhota,” his campaign has been “a huge disappointment, raising questions about his ability to govern,” and endorses de Blasio for mayor.

October 26th, 2013

NYT endorses de Blasio and calls for “attentive, courageous leadership.”

October 30th, 2013

Quinnipiac poll reports 5-point drop in de Blasio’s lead. He still has a 39-point lead on Lhota. Carrion is polling at 3%. “It’s a wipe-out, more than 2-1 for the Dem candidate,” said pollster Maurice Carroll.

November 2nd, 2013

The NY Daily News endorses de Blasio.

November 3rd, 2013

WSJ/Marist poll reports de Blasio ahead 65% to 24%. De Blasio leads across all demographics.

November 4th, 2013

The NY Post endorses Lhota.

November 5th, 2013

Bill de Blasio is elected mayor with 73% of the vote. A total of 752,604 New Yorkers cast the votes that elect him.

2013 Mayoral election vote share & turnout for Bill de Blasio


Return to Campaign Roundtable homepage

Click here to view previous Campaign Roundtable transcripts