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THE COURIER/File photo
THE COURIER/File photo
Bill Thompson announced Monday that he is dropping out of the mayoral race and threw his support behind Bill de Blasio before a recount of votes could determine if a runoff between the two will be needed.

Bill Thompson’s mayoral campaign has come to an end.

The former city comptroller announced Monday morning that he was dropping his bid for the Democratic nomination, throwing his support behind primary winner Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.

“If this were a general election with consequences about the fundamental direction of our city, you can bet I’d fight until the very last vote. But Bill de Blasio and I want to move our city forward in the same direction. We share the fundamental same views and values. This is bigger than either one of us,” he said at the announcement in front of City Hall.

Though Thompson said he still believes every vote should be counted, in reality, the time it would take to count those ballots would have made it impossible to campaign, and remaining in the race would have been a “disservice” to voters.

Joining Thompson at the announcement was de Blasio as well as Governor Andrew Cuomo, who, according to reports, played a role in convincing him to step aside.

Thompson’s exit, however, doesn’t mean there won’t be a mayoral runoff on the October 1 ballot.

According to election law, Thompson had until midnight Friday to withdraw from the race. Since he didn’t quit before that deadline, the city will still need to include the two candidates in next month’s runoff if de Blasio doesn’t reach the 40 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff after all votes are counted.

De Blasio received 40.3 percent of the vote in the primary Tuesday, and Thompson 26.2 percent, according to unofficial results.

Thompson’s decision to withdraw from the race comes after the city’s Board of Elections (BOE) rechecked the primary results of lever voting machines over the weekend.

The BOE was set to start tallying a reported 78,000 paper ballots Monday.

Thompson, after meeting with key supporters Thursday, publicly stated he would remain in the race until every vote had been counted.

That promise came after there was mounting pressure for him to drop his bid and as some former supporters endorsed de Blasio.

The city’s Campaign Finance Board, anticipating a runoff wouldn’t be necessary, decided not to release runoff public matching funds to de Blasio and Thompson last week.

De Blasio will now go on to face the winner of Tuesday’s Republican primary, Joe Lhota, in the general election on November 5.

 

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