NYT: Bloomberg Leaving Republican Party
June 19, 2007, 6:07 pm
Bloomberg Leaving Republican Party
By Sewell Chan
UPDATED, 8:01 p.m.
Michael R. Bloomberg, a longtime Democrat who switched to the
Republican Party to run for mayor of New York City in 2001, announced
this evening that he is changing his party status and registering as
an independent. His office released this statement at 6:05 p.m. (EST):
I have filed papers with the New York City Board of Elections to
change my status as a voter and register as unaffiliated with any
political party. Although my plans for the future havenât changed, I
believe this brings my affiliation into alignment with how I have led
and will continue to lead our city.
A nonpartisan approach has worked wonders in New York: weâve
balanced budgets, grown our economy, improved public health, reformed
the school system and made the nationâs safest city even safer.
We have achieved real progress by overcoming the partisanship that
too often puts narrow interests above the common good. As a political
independent, I will continue to work with those in all political
parties to find common ground, to put partisanship aside and to
achieve real solutions to the challenges we face.
Any successful elected executive knows that real results are more
important than partisan battles and that good ideas should take
precedence over rigid adherence to any particular political ideology.
Working together, thereâs no limit to what we can do.
Mr. Bloombergâs decision â" the first change in party affiliation by a
sitting New York City mayor since 1971, when John V. Lindsay switched
from Republican to Democrat â" immediately set off intense speculation
that he will enter the 2008 presidential race as an independent.
Mr. Bloomberg, 65, a billionaire businessman, narrowly beat a
Democrat, Mark Green, in his first run for elected office, in 2001. He
was re-elected by a wide margin in 2005.
The mayor was in California on Monday and today for events with Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa of Los
Angeles, a Democrat.
On Monday, the mayor gave a speech at âCeasefire! Bridging the
Political Divide,â a conference intended to improve the quality of
public discourse in America. In the speech, he said, âThe politics of
partisanship and the resulting inaction and excuses have paralyzed
decision-making, primarily at the federal level, and the big issues of
the day are not being addressed â" leaving our future in jeopardy.â
Over the past year and a half, after his decisive re-election victory,
Mr. Bloomberg has taken increasingly public stands on national issues,
especially gun control, climate change and urban education, but has
tended to shy away from offering his views on defense and foreign affairs.
Although the mayor has insisted again and again that he has no plans
to run for president, several of his top aides â" especially his chief
political adviser, Deputy Mayor Kevin Sheekey â" have made no secret of
their desire to see him enter the 2008 race.
Reaction is already starting to trickle in from the New York political
world. But weâre interested in what readers have to say.