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The Tally Ho

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Spitzer Endorces Ferrer for Mayor

I find future NY Governor Eliot Spitzer's early backing of Fernando Ferrer a bit odd - mostly because we have not had the primaries yet. Certainly there is a history between the two, but it is not typical. However, AG Spitzer will be running against a three term Governor, and whether you think he is done a decent job or not, Mr. Pitaki has name recognition. Either way here is a bit
He said his support for Mr. Ferrer stemmed from Mr. Ferrer's work in revitalizing the Bronx when he was its borough president and Mr. Ferrer's being "a voice for the middle class" and smart government. The endorsement was first reported yesterday in The New York Observer, and Mr. Spitzer spoke publicly about it for the first time after the article appeared.

For his part, Mr. Ferrer, who worked to get Mr. Spitzer elected attorney general in 1998, said that he and Mr. Spitzer, a fellow Democrat, share similar values and that he was humbled to have the support of a political figure with statewide and national stature.

"Look, this is going to be a race in the city that will have national repercussions, but it also has local repercussions," Mr. Ferrer said in a telephone interview.

"He gets the fact that people from minimum-wage workers to the middle class are getting squeezed," Mr. Ferrer continued. "I will be asking him to lend his prestige and presence in every corner of the city. Every corner."

Mr. Spitzer has been a vocal supporter of Mr. Ferrer in the past, and even went so far as to help him raise money at recent fund-raisers. Neither the attorney general nor the campaign has yet disclosed specific plans about how he will work on Mr. Ferrer's behalf.

Still, experts said that although Mr. Spitzer's endorsement may help burnish Mr. Ferrer's appeal among white voters, it may also work to the advantage of Mr. Spitzer next year among Hispanics, a critical swing bloc in recent elections for governor.

"There is absolutely no downside for Spitzer to do this," said George Arzt, a consultant who is not affiliated with any of the mayoral candidates. The two men share political advisers, he continued, and "the Hispanic vote is a linchpin for the gubernatorial race."

Norman Adler, another consultant not working on any mayoral campaigns, saw a similar strategy. "People generally frame out their grand campaign with the advice of their advisers," he said, "and those political consultants are no doubt saying that Spitzer is in better shape if his urban base is stronger, and Ferrer represents a part of that base."

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