Conflicting reports have come out about a Democrat state senator considering a run for mayor next year as a Republican.
The New York Post reported on Wednesday, August 1, that State Senator Malcolm Smith, who was the majority leader when the party held the senate, was in talks with the state Republican party about running in 2013. The Post reported that Smith confirmed he was in talks with the party.
A spokesperson for the senator, however, said the six-term state lawmaker was focusing on his re-election campaign for the 14th District, which is made up of the Rockaways and areas of southeast Queens.
“Malcolm Smith is focused on running for re-election for New York State Senator for which he has proudly served the people of the 14th electorial district over 12 years,” the spokesperson said. “He is honored that party leaders are considering him for the office of the mayor of New York City but no decision has been made.”
At deadline, state GOP chair Ed Cox had not responded to a call for comment.
If Smith was to run as a Republican, he would need backing from party leaders in at least three boroughs.
Queens GOP chair Phil Ragusa said neither the party, nor Smith, had contacted Republicans in the borough about getting an endorsement. He went on to say that Smith — if he does decide to run for the GOP — would most likely not pass the party’s screening process.
“We ask a question if you’ve ever done anything that would embarrass yourself, or the Republican party, and I don’t think he could pass that test,” Ragusa said.
Republicans have won almost every mayoral election over the last 20 years. Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani won in 1993 and 1997; incumbent Mayor Michael Bloomberg won in 2001 and 2005. Bloomberg won his third term as an Independent in 2009, after changing party affiliation in 2007.
Other Democrats, who have discussed running as Democrats, include City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and former City Comptroller Bill Thompson.