Mayoral candidate, Thompson, stumps on Broadway

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Watch candidate Bill Thompson duck into Loeser’s Kosher Deli. Watch Thompson order a hot dog, knish and soda. Watch a Thompson sign appear in Loeser’s window.

In the Bronx to campaign on Friday, October 16, Thompson informed reporters that he plans to highlight contrasts between himself and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The challenger is a Democrat, Bloomberg a Republican, the challenger for small businesses, the mayor for big business, and so on. But the pilgrimage to Loeser’s was a Bloomberg re-tread. The billionaire mayor stopped at Loeser’s in 2004.

David Dinkins visited the deli. So did Ed Koch. Some auspicious knishes… Thompson could use a bit of luck, remarked Loeser’s owner Fredy Loeser.

“He has a good record,” Loeser said. “But Bloomberg has money for ads.”

Thompson, the city comptroller, bolted to Loeser’s after a brisk tour of Kingsbridge and an impromptu press conference under the #1 IRT line. On Broadway, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. pointed shoppers to Thompson and promised that the Thompson would win the Bronx.

“Meet Billy Thompson!” Diaz Jr. shouted.

Eva Kalme of Godwin Terrace, 67, shook Thompson’s hand. She plans to vote for the Brooklyn boy. Kalme adheres to the Thompson campaign slogan “eight is enough.”

“I’m tired of Bloomberg,” Kalme said.

Edward Merkado, 46, linked Thompson and President Barack Obama.

“We need a change,” Merkado said. Thompson is for the middle class and minorities. Obama is doing a lot. I think Thompson will, too.”

Perhaps Thompson chose to campaign in Kingsbridge because business owners are frustrated. The shopping center planned for a city-owned parking lot on Broadway is stalled, as the developer renegotiates its deal with Bloomberg’s Economic Development Corporation. Business owners want the parking lot reopened. Some also blame the mayor for overzealous parking enforcement agents.

“I think people are sick of Bloomberg,” Columbia-Riverdale Florist owner Connie Dennis said. “We have problems here with parking tickets.”

Hee Lee, who owns Colds Cuts City on E. 231st Street, glimpsed Thompson on a Korean-language television program. Lee scoffed at Bloomberg’s one-dollar salary.

“Bloomberg is rich,” he said.

Before Loeser’s, a truck of Department of Transportation workers cheered Thompson.

“You the man, Billy!” one guffawed.

No Bloomberg fans approached Thompson but the mayor has a campaign office on Riverdale Avenue and beat Democrat Fernando Ferrer in the 81st Assembly District – Riverdale/­Kingsbridg­e/Norwood/­Woodlawn – in 2005.

Updated 5:26 pm, October 21, 2011
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