The next NYC comptroller

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While everyone is focused on who will succeed NYC Mayor Bloomberg, little attention has been paid to who will succeed NYC Comptroller John Liu. Notice that there is no potential declared Republican candidate to succeed Liu. The last effective GOP challenger for NYC Comptroller was businessperson Richard Bernstein, who ran with former Mayor Ed Koch in 1981. Former NYC Finance Commissioner Fivorvante Perrotta running on both the Republican and Liberal party lines in 1969 also ran a very competitive race coming close to upsetting Democrat Abe Beame.

Brooklyn Democratic Assemblymember Jules Polenetsky was the last serious GOP candidate for NYC Public Advocate when running with former Mayor Rudy Giuliani in 1997. The last Republican NYC Council President Sanford Garelick won in 1969. The last Republican Comptroller was Joseph D. McGoldrick who served from 1938 to 1945.

Based upon recent history, NYC Council Finance Committee Chairperson Dominick Reccia would have a difficult task. Perhaps this is why he may have decided to abandoned his quest to run for NYC Comptroller. Term limited Councilmember Reccia doesn’t seem to know what to do with his life. First, he dropped out of the race for NYC comptroller. Next, he declared serious interest in running for Brooklyn Borough President. Within weeks, he gave up pursuing that office to “consider” running against Staten Island/Brooklyn Republican Congressmember Michael Grimm in 2014.. Past NYC Council Finance Committee Chairpersons Herb Berman from Brooklyn lost to Bill Thompson in the 2001 Democratic Party Primary for NYC Comptroller. David Weprin from Queens lost to John Liu in the 2009 Democratic Party Primary for NYC comptroller. All three losing 2009 Democratic Party Primary candidates for NYC Comptroller including then NYC Councilmembers David Yassky (Brooklyn) along with Melinda Katz and David Weprin (Queens) don’t have the fire in the belly to try again. Melinda Katz has instead declared for Queens Borough President. David Weprin appears tired after losing in 2009 for Comptroller and again in a 2011 Special Election to fill the vacant seat of former Brooklyn/Queens Congressmember Anthony Weiner. David Yassky seems comfortable serving as NYC Taxi and Limousine Commissioner with no apparent aspirations to run for any public office.

Democrats appear to be rallying around Manhattan Borough President and former 2013 mayoral candidate Scott Stringer for NYC comptroller. They may not even have a primary if all five Democratic Party County leaders have their way. All Democrats are going to support one of their own to end the GOP’s 20-year control of City Hall. The result will be one party control of all three citywide offices along with the City Council. This is a recipe for municipal corruption.
Bloomberg abandoned the Republican Party whose ballot line he “rented” for convenience in winning a third term. He has continued his past track record of doing little to help finance and run serious Republican challengers against incumbent Democrats.

Bloomberg’s 2009 reelection strategy was deliberate in not spending any significant time campaigning or fundraising for GOP challengers. He didn’t want to increase turnout of registered Democrats or offend incumbent Democrat Party public officials. As a result, he has virtually no GOP allies or minor league bench in City Hall to develop candidates for mayor, city comptroller or public advocate in 2013.

Perhaps one of the potential seven 2013 Republican Mayoral candidates including Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) boss Joe Lhota, businessman John Catsimatdis, Manhattan Media publisher Tom Allon, nonprofit Executive Director George McDonald along with Democrats — former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion and Queens State Senator Malcolm Smith or Rev. A.G. Bernard will put their ego aside. One of the seven could drop out of the Mayoral race and instead run for NYC Comptroller. They could assist the Republicans in running a real diverse city and borough wide group of candidates for the first time in decades. This would also help the handful of GOP competitive NYC Council candidates in expanding their current 4 members to the old record of 7 who served with former Mayor Guiliani during the 1990’s.