NEW YORK — Outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday he would not endorse a candidate in the race to replace him.
“I don’t want to do anything that complicates it for the next mayor, and that’s one of the reasons I’ve decided I’m just not gonna make an endorsement in the race,” Bloomberg said during his weekly appearance on WOR Radio.
Though he never offered a formal endorsement, Bloomberg was said to have preferred City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in the Democratic mayoral primary. But Quinn was defeated by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who won, in part, by positioning himself as the anti-Bloomberg in the race.
Bloomberg lashed out at de Blasio in a New York Magazine interview published only days before the primary — arguing that de Blasio's heavy use of his multiracial family in his mayoral bid was a “racist” campaign tactic and that his crusade against income inequality in the city was “class warfare.”
There had been speculation that Bloomberg might back Republican nominee Joe Lhota, a former aide to ex-Mayor Rudy Giuliani who recently headed up the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. But Bloomberg and Lhota have clashed, too. Last year, Lhota was forced to apologize after he was quoted calling Bloomberg “an idiot.”
But on Friday, Bloomberg said he would stay on the sidelines and work to make sure there is a smooth transition between his administration and whoever wins.
“It’s really important to the next mayor that they have the tools, they’ve got to know where everything is and what status it’s in and which buttons to push, and how to keep it going, particularly at the beginning as they form a team and as that team comes in and gets that experience,” Bloomberg said. “And helping the next mayor get prepared for the job so they can hit the ground running is really one of the most important things I can do for New Yorkers after November.”