Gay group backs Quinn rival

By Chris Bragg
June 21, 2013

2013 Gay Awards Ceremony
William Thompson has picked up an endorsement from the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club in his race for mayor.
Photo: Buck Ennis

Some of Council Speaker Christine Quinn's most vocal opponents have found their candidate for mayor.

The Jim Owles Democrats, one of the city's two citywide LGBT clubs, on Thursday endorsed former Comptroller Bill Thompson, touting him as the most viable alternative to Ms. Quinn, its president confirmed.

Though Ms. Quinn would be the city's first openly gay mayor, the club has long clashed with the speaker on everything from allowing Mayor Michael Bloomberg a third term to watering down living-wage and paid-sick-leave legislation. A number of the club's members, including animal advocate Donny Moss, are among a contingent that often protest Ms. Quinn at events.

The club's president, Allen Roskoff, another outspoken critic of Ms. Quinn, confirmed the endorsement. According to Mr. Roskoff, the club voted overwhelmingly to back Mr. Thompson.

"We believe Mr. Thompson will provide progressive leadership and return the city to face the needs of the middle class and working poor," Mr. Roskoff said in a statement. "Thompson's record of commitment to the LGBT community is strong and bold. We also believe he is the best candidate to stand up and secure the defeat of Christine Quinn and thus put a final end to the Bloomberg-Quinn administration, an administration that delivers for the wealthy and privileged."

The other citywide club, the Stonewall Democrats, backed Ms. Quinn.

Mr. Thompson has had a big week already, landing the backing of the United Federation of Teachers and the Teamsters Local 237. However, Ms. Quinn could get a bigger boost next week: Some sources say she will receive the endorsement of the building workers union 32BJ Tuesday, as first reported on Friday morning by the Politicker. But other labor sources said that while a Quinn endorsement by 32BJ was likely, its leaders still had not made a formal decision between Ms. Quinn and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. Ms. Quinn put herself in position to land the union's backing by allowing paid sick leave legislation and a prevailing wage bill to come to the City Council floor for a vote, albeit after she limited the scope of the bills.

No final determination has been made about a mayoral endorsement, according to a 32BJ spokesman, who added that the union's executive board will vote Tuesday.




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