State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson tells us she’s officially running for mayor of Mount Vernon.
Thompson, whose 36th S.D. spans the northeast Bronx and Mount Vernon, was City Council president there for two terms before her election to the state senate in 2000, and she still lives there.
And come what may, she told us this will also be her last run for senate.
The mayoral run will come in 2015 and if Thompson is reelected this November to her Senate seat, she could still hold on to it while running for mayor of the Westchester city of 68,000 souls.
We first reported last May that Ruth had formed an exploratory committee to weigh a run. Now, after exploring the territory, and talking with current Mayor Ernie Davis, she’s ready to go for it.
Davis has said this will be his last term, and even if he changes his mind, Ruth said “that if I get deeply committed, I will run regardless. I just think there are some things that the city needs more than bricks and mortar. I think I have something different to offer.”
She expects up to five City Councilmembers, as few as three, running for the seat, “but my reality has always been that I came to do a job, and I think I’ve done a decent job both for Mount Vernon and for the Bronx.
Thompson expects to face no serious challenges for her senate seat, though if she DOES win the mayor’s job, expect a big scramble for her vacated seat.
The 71-year-old seven-term legislator said she is proud of her record in Albany, having been prime sponsor on a number of successful pieces of legislation, but she is ready for one last term – lest it be interrupted with a mayoral win.
“I’ve been making this exit plan for a couple of years, and I knew the date that I wanted to leave, just predicated on the things that I wanted to complete.”
She lamented how Albany is changing – “not necessarily for the better” – as she cited ethics issues and the legislature’s power “being usurped by the governor.”
Add New York’s two senators, Chuck Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand to east Bronx/Queens Rep. Joe Crowley’s recent endorsement of Harlem Congressman Charlie Rangel.
The 83-year-old Rangel is scrambling to hang on to his seat, with 20% of his district in a western slice of the Bronx.
Meanwhile, as we recently noted, Boro Prez Ruben Diaz Jr. is supporting north Manhattan state Senator Adriano Espaillat, who lost to Charlie by a thousand votes last go-round.
As for Bronx Dem Boss Carl Heastie, we hear some quarters are pushing for him to get off the, er, throne and decide now who the party will back, rather than be late and lame out of the gate.
One party loyalist said County “could be waiting ‘til the end of petitioning” to see who brings in the most signatures, “Or maybe they’ll just even their bets by giving some ‘lame’ support to whoever.”
That being said, Rangel’s campaign just filed 20,066 petition signatures with the Board of Elections, while the required minimum to get on the ballot is 1,250 signatures. Espaillat came in second with 8,376 signatures, with challenger Rev. Michael Waldrond bringing up the rear with 6,100.
The Bronx Democratic Party is looking for some new members, doing some off-line social networking. It’s throwing a get-together from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, April 17 at Beso Lounge at 320 E. 204th St. Light appetizers and discounted beverages. Info at 718-679-9000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Musical precincts. New Police Commissioner Bill Bratton moving some precinct commanders into, out of and around the borough:
•Newly promoted Deputy Inspector Brian Mullen swings over from the 47th Precinct in Williamsbridge-Wakefield to the 44th Precinct in Highbridge-Concourse, with Deputy Inspector Ruel Stephenson coming in from north Manhattan’s 30th Precinct to take over the 4-7.
•DI Christopher McCormack moved from Mott Haven’s 40th Precinct to the 46th in Morris Heights, with current C.O., DI John Hart, taking over the Midtown North Precinct.
Welcome: To Lt. Catherine Mylott, new detective squad boss at the 4-5 Precinct in Throggs Neck, swung in from Manhattan detectives.
April 14 – Cable TV BronxTalk host Gary Axelbank.