Charter School Magnate Opts Against NYC Mayoral Bid

NEW YORK (AP) -

Eva Moskowitz, the leader of a major chain of New York City charter schools and an outspoken critic of Mayor Bill de Blasio, ended months of speculation Thursday by declaring she won’t run for mayor in 2017.

Moskowitz, a Democrat and former City Council member, had been touted as a viable challenger to de Blasio, with whom she has frequently clashed over education policy and the future of charter schools. But, in a City Hall news conference that at times was on the verge of being drowned out by the chants of protesters, she opted against a return to campaigning for now.

“I am not running, because I think what we still can accomplish in education could be game-changing,” she said, comparing her innovations to those of Apple and Google. “We have to fundamentally rethink every aspect of schooling. We can’t be cynical about changing the politics of education.”

A savvy political operative backed by big-money hedge-fund donors, Moskowitz has organized massive demonstrations of students, including one Wednesday that was attended by more than 15,000 people.

Moskowitz frequently fueled speculation about a City Hall bid, and continued that on Thursday. When asked if she would consider a run in 2021, she answered: “I might. I like politics.”

When asked later about Moskowitz, de Blasio simply said “the choice was hers” not to run and touted his administration’s education policies.