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BY JEFFERSON SIEGEL | Saturday evening, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio made a stop on his mayoral campaign at First Ave. and 16th St. to shake hands with residents of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. In July, de Blasio received the endorsement of Tenants PAC, which backs candidates who are strong supporters of tenants’ rights.
The PAC is also backing Brooklyn Councilmember Letitia James to succeed de Blasio as public advocate.
De Blasio was joined in the hour-long meet-and-greet on Aug. 31 by his daughter, Chiara, state Senator Liz Krueger, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh and Al Doyle, former president of the Stuyvesant Town Tenants Association.
Also at the event were a half dozen anti-de Blasio protesters. Carrying signs with two faces of de Blasio bearing the slogan, “Will the Real de Blasio Please Stand Up,” the group stood silently while the candidate’s supporters tried to block their signs with their own campaign placards.
When a reporter asked a woman who was handing out fliers with the heading, “FACT CHECK: Bill de Blasio Talks Out of Both Sides of His Mouth on Luxury Development,” what campaign she was with, she replied, “Quinn for New York.” However, her fliers did not have the name of any group. The one-sided sheet was a reprint of four quotes from an article in Capital New York.
De Blasio has recently come under attack for, among other things, his failure to disclose meetings with lobbyists for the real estate industry, as well as his flip-flopping on extending term limits — although he now slams Quinn on the latter.
Several of the protesters spent the hour filming de Blasio with their cell phones. One even had his photo taken with the candidate.
Among those who stopped to meet the mayoral hopeful was actor Vincent D’Onofrio. D’Onofrio, best known for his work on “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” said he came to show his support for de Blasio.
“I hope that this guy wins,” D’Onofrio said while hoisting his son onto his shoulders. He added that de Blasio showed concern for children forced into long bus rides to and from school.
Recent polls show de Blasio with a sizeable lead over his closest challengers, Council Speaker Christine Quinn and former City Comptroller Bill Thompson.
The primary election is next Tues., Sept. 10. If no candidate wins 40 percent of the vote, there will be a runoff three weeks later on Tues., Oct. 1. The general election is Nov. 5.