Embattled Comptroller Scott Stringer vowed Friday to remain in the race for mayor even as a parade of major endorsers jumped ship after a woman volunteer accused him of groping and harassing her decades ago.
“I understand that this is a difficult moment for my supporters, and I know that some of them will feel compelled to withdraw their endorsement of my candidacy,” Stringer said in the statement released late Friday afternoon.
“This campaign was always going to be about the people. I’ve received a lot of support on campaign stops over the last two days, and I’m going to be campaigning in every neighborhood, in every borough for the next two months. I look forward to seeing my opponents on the campaign trail and at the debates,” he said.
An hour later, the Working Families Party — one of his most important backers — yanked its endorsement.
“The New York Working Families Party has made the decision to withdraw our endorsement of Scott Stringer,” said Sochie Nnaemeka, the party’s New York State Director.
“For years, New York’s politics have been dominated by a culture of sexual harassment,” she added in a statement released Friday evening. “We are deeply committed to building a city and state where all New Yorkers are safe from sexual misconduct, and survivors are supported in speaking out.”
The WFP’s statement set off a stampede toward the exits for other prominent Stringer supporters, including Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-The Bronx/Westchester), State Sens. Alessandra Biaggi (D-The Bronx), Julia Salazar (D-Brooklyn) and Gustavo Rivera (D-The Bronx), and Assemblywomen Yuh-Line Niou (D-Manhattan) and Catalina Cruz (D-Queens).
The group sent out a terse, one-sentence statement that simply read: “We are rescinding our endorsement of Scott Stringer’s mayoral campaign.”
Two other left-leaning groups — Jewish Vote and Sunrise Movement, a coalition of climate climate activists — also pulled their endorsements Friday.
Stringer’s campaign hit the skids when Jean Kim, 49, came forward with allegations accusing him of repeatedly sexually harassing her during his failed 2001 campaign for public advocate — including asking her, “Why won’t you f–k me!”
Stringer denied the allegations, claiming they had a consensual relationship.
The abandonment of the WFP is a another body blow to Stringer’s mayoral ambitions. The WFP is a major coalition of liberal labor union and leftist activists.
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