Assemblymember Clyde Vanel (D-Queens Village) and City Councilmember Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) became the first New York City elected officials to endorse former Mayor and presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg, voicing their support at the official opening of the candidate’s Bayside campaign headquarters Feb. 6.
“Are we fired up?” Vanel chanted as the crowd cheered on. “This is a very important time in this country, this is a very serious time in this country as we see what’s going on in Washington. The stakes are very high and this is one of the most important elections of our lifetime ... he is a proven leader that gets things done. We need an America that we’re proud of and Mike is that person.”
Vanel said Bloomberg’s ability to enter the mayoral position in the wake of 9/11 and rebuild the city is a testament to his competency as a leader. Vanel stands behind Bloomberg’s positions on addressing climate change and gun reform and his proven ability to create thousands of jobs.
“The unprecedented prosperity we have enjoyed is a direct result of the decisions and leadership made by our previous mayor, Mike Bloomberg,” followed Vallone. “He knew prioritizing economic development would be critical to balance the needs of every citizen. He challenged every one of us to be our best so that our city could prosper and he will do the same as our president. That is why I am proud to stand with Mike Bloomberg for president.”
Although the aspiring president wasn’t present for the celebration, his state campaign director John Calvelli revealed that the 39-36 Bell Blvd. office will serve as his central Queens post, hosting canvassing and phone banking events, voter outreach and other coordinated outreach activities ahead of New York’s April 28 Democratic primary.
“Our presence in Queens reflects Mike Bloomberg’s commitment to bringing Americans of all backgrounds together and running a campaign that’s as inclusive as possible,” said Calvelli.
Calvelli stated that Bloomberg, who was a registered Republican during his first two terms as mayor and an independent for this third, is the only Democratic candidate who could defeat Trump in the presidential race.
Former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman also attended the grand opening and endorsed Bloomberg, recalling his time as mayor, which began the same year Shulman’s borough presidency ended.
“As the first woman elected as Queens borough president, I know a trailblazer when I see one, and Mike Bloomberg certainly fits the bill. He was a wonderful mayor, he would be a great president,” said Shulman.
Shulman noted Bloomberg’s untraditional campaign path, which is completely funded from his own pocket and doesn’t accept donations, a choice that disqualifies him from taking part in the debates against other candidates.
“He may be a little unorthodox, but some of the people who are a little more orthodox are not doing that well,” said Schulman.
Neighborhood small businesses and eateries showed their support at the opening, and Mr. Met was also in attendance. Since Vanel and Vallone’s endorsement, 10 other state elected officials have endorsed Bloomberg, including Rep. Gregory Meeks, chairman of the Queens County Democratic Party