Public Advocate Hires Consultants for a Likely Mayoral Run


bill-de-blasioIn the surest sign yet that he is planning to run for New York City mayor in 2013, Bill de Blasio, the public advocate, has hired prominent consultants best known for their work with candidates like Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Rahm Emanuel.

One of the consultants, John Del Cecato, who is now working on Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign, will be responsible for making Mr. de Blasio’s television advertisements. A longtime New York resident, Mr. Del Cecato is a partner at AKPD Message and Media, which was founded by the political strategist David Axelrod, an adviser to the Obama campaign. Mr. Del Cecato also recently worked on the successful campaigns of Mayor Anthony R. Foxx of Charlotte, N.C., and Mayor Edwin M. Lee of San Francisco.

Another of the consultants, Anna Greenberg, is a senior vice president at Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and worked with Mr. Del Cecato on Mr. Emanuel’s successful campaign for mayor of Chicago. She will be Mr. de Blasio’s primary pollster, while her father, Stanley B. Greenberg, the firm’s chief executive, will be an adviser.

A former New York resident, Ms. Greenberg is currently involved in the re-election campaign of Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.

Like many of the 2013 prospects, Mr. de Blasio has not officially declared his intentions. But the new appointments, which his campaign plans to announce to supporters on Tuesday, only reinforce the conventional wisdom that he wants to succeed Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

Last month, Mr. de Blasio posted the strongest fund-raising numbers of any potential Democratic candidate, pulling in $1 million in the second half of 2011. At his current pace, Mr. de Blasio is expected to join two other likely rivals, Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker, and Scott M. Stringer, the Manhattan borough president, in reaching the magic fund-raising number of $6.7 million, the most that mayoral candidates who accept public financing can spend before the primary.

That primary is not likely to take place until mid-2013, and it is debatable whether outside consultants actually make a difference. Yet given the wide-open and volatile nature of the race, the candidate who can best create a compelling message and pinpoint likely supporters could gain a decisive edge.

In interviews, Mr. Del Cecato and Ms. Greenberg hinted at elements of a possible de Blasio campaign, which is expected to lean on a coalition of labor and minority support and to focus on voters outside Manhattan.

“He just seems rooted in a real way in the city – he has kids in public schools, he’s from Brooklyn, he knows about grass-roots organizing,” Ms. Greenberg said. “He feels like the right person at the right time, when the city is in transition.”

{New York Times/ Newscenter}


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