The openly lesbian City Council President conceded Tuesday night, bringing to a close a campaign where she went from being considered the shoo-in to watching her support crumble. Quinn was pulling about 15% of the vote, compared to about 40% for de Blasio and 26% for Thompson. If de Blasio holds on at 40%, he wins the nomination outright and there will be no run-off. He will also be the favorite in the November election against Republican John Lhota.
Quinn appeared before her followers to thank them for their support, giving a special shout-out to her wife, Kim Catullo, who was standing beside her, as “one of the most compelling champions this campaign had.”
“Let’s keep working,” Quinn said, “for a better, greater, more united, more equal New York for everyone. For every little girl, for every union member, for every family, for every LGBT person out there. That is what we can bring, and that’s what we did bring.”
Ironically, exit polling showed that de Blasio captured more of the LGBT vote than Quinn did. In the spring, de Blasio was running a distant fourth in the polls, but he was able to capitalize on voter dissatisfaction with current mayor Michael Bloomberg, particularly around the city’s stop-and-frisk policies. That included dissatisfaction in the LGBT community.
Quinn, on the other hand, was widely seen as Bloomberg’s stand-in, particularly since she was instrumental in waiving term limits so that Bloomberg could seek a third term in 2009. Despite having the largest campaign chest and an early lead, Quinn found herself unexpectedly contending first with former Congressman and sexting magnate Anthony Weiner and, after his implosion, both de Blasio and Thompson.
New York City loses its chance to have its first lesbian mayor, but will still be some LGBT connection in the mayor’s mansion. De Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, wrote a groundbreaking essay for Essence magazine in 1979 titled “I Am a Lesbian.” She says now when she meet de Blasio in 1991, she was attracted to him. As to how she went from being a lesbian to being in love with a man, McCray told Essence, “by putting aside the assumptions I had about the form and package my love would come in. By letting myself be as free as I felt when I went natural.”