Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly distanced himself Friday from a mysterious pollster who took a survey on how respondents would react to a Kelly mayoral run.
“No, no, no,” Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne responded to an email from Politicker reporter Jill Colvin, who asked if Kelly was behind the poll, was aware of it before it was publicized, or is considering a last-minute jump into the race.
“It was not commissioned by Commissioner Kelly and I don’t know who it was commissioned by,” Browne said. “He’s focused on being police commissioner. There’s no plan to run for mayor.”
Several people reported receiving a telephone poll by the Queens-based Opinion Access Corp., asking questions about how Kelly matched up with the other candidates.
Former Rep. Bob Turner (R-N.Y.) told Hamodia last month that the state Republican party, faced with the loss of the New York City mayoralty after 20 years, was strongly urging the commissioner to run on the GOP line.
But Kelly, who has won plaudits for bringing the crime rate down to record-low levels, has repeatedly said he has no interest in running. It is also unclear how voters would react to the 70-year-old Vietnam veteran’s planks on a range of social and fiscal issues.
One of Kelly’s richest backers, Ken Langone, said he was not behind the poll and has already resigned himself to the fact that the commissioner will not make a late entry into the race.
“He’s not interested,” Langone said. He added that he is supporting former Metropolitan Transit Authority Joseph Lhota’s bid for the GOP nomination.
The deadline for a Kelly candidacy is fast approaching. Candidates must file by June 10, which is in two weeks.
The push for a Kelly candidacy comes from a nervous business community, which is worried that a Democratic mayor will add layers of regulations on businesses to pay for a roster of spending, from extra police officers to teachers.
They are particularly concerned about former representative Anthony Weiner’s declaring his candidacy last week. The New York Democrat earned a name during his congressional career as a hard-charging liberal.