Christine Quinn launches first ad in NYC mayoral race

Holly Bailey
National Correspondent

NEW YORK — Mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn unveiled her first television ad Thursday, arguing that she’s the candidate in the best position to help the middle class and that her record proves it.

The 30-second spot, which will air on the city’s four network affiliates and on cable TV, is the first major television campaign by one of the Democratic mayoral candidates ahead of the September primary. (Supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis, who is seeking the Republican nomination, has been running ads for months.)

“Middle class and working families are the heart of New York, and they’re who I fight for every day,” Quinn, who is speaker of the City Council, says in the spot. “While others talk about fighting for the middle class, I’ve been doing it.”

Quinn cites, among other things, her efforts on the council to pass a living wage law, create affordable housing and pass balanced budgets without increasing taxes.

The ad comes just hours after a new New York Times/Siena College poll found Quinn leading the crowded Democratic primary with 27 percent support. Former Rep. Anthony Weiner trailed with 18 percent; Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former Comptroller William Thompson were tied at 11 percent; and John Liu, the current comptroller, had 7 percent. The poll reported a plus or minus 3 percentage point margin of error.

The NYT/Siena poll’s findings were different from a Quinnipiac University survey released Monday that found Weiner and Quinn statistically tied in the Democratic primary.

The Quinn campaign has not said how much it is spending on its first ad buy, but the spot clearly aims to make Quinn a more accessible candidate, playing up her work on behalf of working class families.

The imagery of the ad — which features young families, firefighters and kids — seems aimed at undermining critics who have tried to tie her with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a close Quinn ally who has been criticized for doing little to curb the city’s skyrocketing rents and for not doing enough to improve public schools.

The NYT/Siena poll found that 65 percent of voters surveyed want the city to move in a new direction — even though most said they approve of what the current mayor has done for the city.

Sixty-one percent of those polled said they want a mayor who can understand the needs and problems of ordinary New Yorkers — and that issue would be the most important factor in their vote.