After Betting on Thompson, UFT Endorses de Blasio

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

UFT president Michael Mulgrew once said he'd make Bill Thompson mayor. As it turns out, he helped him bow out.

Mulgrew says he facilitated a meeting between Thompson and Bill de Blasio at the union's headquarters last weekend.

"And in the end the decision was made that what was in the best interest of the city was to unite the Democratic party to make sure that a Democrat becomes the next mayor of New York City, and not the Republican nominee," he said.

The union, which boasts approximately 200,000 members, had thrown its considerable weight behind Thompson and spent more than a million dollars to support his candidacy.

But not all teachers agreed with the union's choice, and many told Schoolbook they preferred de Blasio, who has made universal pre-k and afterschool programs a key part of his platform.

Still, de Blasio said there are no sour grapes. "We know in primaries there are going to be some different choices," he said. "But we're Democrats, we're progressives. We're people who believe in shared core values."

De Blasio steered clear of one sticky subject. The teachers and other unions have been working under expired contracts, and it will be up to the next mayor to broker a deal. De Blasio said only that as mayor he'd "always make the judgements I think are in the best interest of the city," and said the coalition provides a good framework for working together going forward. 

For now, de Blasio and Mulgrew said they agree on one common goal, beating Republican Joe Lhota in November.

The announcement came just as the city Board of Elections was releasing its canvass of voting machines and emergency ballots.  De Blasio's total had ticked up to 40.88 percent of the vote, to Thompson's 26.25.  The board is still counting some 70,000 affadavit and absentee ballots. 


Julianne Welby


More in:

Comments [1]

Teacher Jane from Park Slope

As a teacher, I hope Mr. Mulgrew has the decency himself to bow out. An ineffective leader on almost all counts, credit hogging do nothing. Charter schools have colonized our public schools with hardly a peep form him, the atmosphere is militarized with armed police everywhere and standardized tests more prominent than ever. With his attention on the retirees in Florida that vote for him.

Sep. 19 2013 09:03 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.


Latest Newscast




WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public


Supported by