New York City Republicans have quietly begun laying the groundwork to recruit a candidate to challenge Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2017, with some promoting charter-school executive Eva Moskowitz.
A lifelong Democrat and former City Council member, Ms. Moskowitz said she was contemplating a mayoral bid—but expected to compete in the Democratic primary if she did run.
“I have concerns about the direction of the city,” said Ms. Moskowitz, who added that she thought Mr. de Blasio could be vulnerable. “The power of incumbency is always great, but it was a pretty rocky start.”
One problem for Moskowitz and the GOP - some on their team have been complimentary of de Blasio:
While GOP officials have railed publicly about Mr. de Blasio’s performance, Messrs. Catsimatidis and Lhota have been largely laudatory. That complicates the work of the party.
“He hasn’t done a bad job,” Mr. Catsimatidis said. “I’m hoping Bill de Blasio does a great job so nobody has to run against him.”
The takeaway - unless there's a major crisis or things turn very, very bad in the city, a GOP candidate will have a lot of difficulty taking out de Blasio:
George Arzt, a longtime Democratic consultant, said, “The only person who would be viable is a Bloomberg-type businessman with high ID, high recognition and a lot of money.”
“They’re not many people around who are willing to do that and who are willing to leave the shadows of corporate life to become a piñata for the press,” said Mr. Arzt, adding that history shows a challenger would need a crisis to oust an incumbent Democrat from City Hall.
“When times are bad in the city, Republicans have been able to win against the registration odds,” said Jake Menges, a GOP consultant. “An articulate, charismatic, well-known entity in philanthropy, in the financial services industry and is a well financed, self-funded candidate has a real shot.”
I dunno about you, but Moskowitz (who says she has no plans to switch parties to the GOP anyway) doesn't fit the bill of "an articulate, charismatic, well-known entity in philanthropy, in the financial services industry who is a well financed, self-funded candidate."
I think Eva will preen in the press about running, but ultimately will not run.
She's making too much money and gets to avoid a whole lot of scrutiny where she is now.
If she decides to run for mayor, there will be a lot of attention on Success Academies, the financial record, the academic record, the attrition record that she won't be able to make go away with a lawsuit or some PR.
I don't think Moskowitz wants that.
Instead I think the charter industry will continue to bypass City Hall and push their preferred policies up in Albany where de Blasio can do nothing about them and look for someone more charter-friendly than Moskowitz who can challenge BdB in 2017.
But my bet is, Eva Moskowitz stays in the private sector pulling in $500,000+ a year and expanding her charter empire.