Bill Thompson’s marginal loss to Michael Bloomberg in 2009 may have come from support for the Republican mayor in the Jewish community, but he is counting on them to put him over the top in this year’s tough Democratic mayoral primary.
Speaking to about 15 leaders of Jewish organizations late Sunday afternoon in the Avenue Plaza hotel on 13th Avenue, the former city comptroller said that he was not a newcomer to the Jewish community but knew many of those in the room going back 30 years.
“I am not going to be the mayor who can’t find his way to Boro Park or to Flatbush or to Crown Heights or to Williamsburg,” he said at the event organized by Ben Barber, a businessman and an askan from Bobov. “You will be able to find me, I know that. I know how to get there. I don’t need a driver to get there.”
Thompson said that the tight win Bloomberg eked out in 2009 — Thompson got a shocking 45 percent of the vote — showed that with a little more support he could have been the current mayor.
“You are so important to this,” he pleaded. “That is why I need your help. With your help, there is absolutely no doubt that I will be the next mayor of the city of New York.”
“With your vote, your support, I can’t lose,” he added, repeating slowly: “I can’t lose.”
Thompson promised to always remain accessible to the Jewish community if he goes to Gracie Mansion — a sore point in a community that supported Bloomberg three times only to be shut out over the past few years.
“Those who know me,” Thompson said, “know the one thing: We may disagree but we will always sit down and talk. You will never be surprised by what I do.”
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, a rival of Thompson for the Democratic nomination, held a similar event on Sunday morning. Also in the primary are City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Councilman Sal Albanese.
The Orthodox Jewish community has come in for intense campaigning this year after a survey emerged last year showing that the community is the fastest growing in the city.