Borough President Markowitz — a Democrat — endorsed Mayor Bloomberg over Democratic rival (and Brooklynite!) Bill Thompson near Borough Hall today, calling the would-be third-term mayor “one of the greats.”
“I’m a proud lifelong Democrat,” Markowitz said at the mayor’s side. “I have nothing but respect for Bill Thompson. … [But] we basically need the mayoral equivalent of Capt. Sully Sullenberger.”
And Bloomberg, Markowitz implied, was akin to fabled USAir pilot Chesley Sullenberger who saved his passengers — and became a national symbol of grace under fire — in January when he ditched his plane into the Hudson River, a body of water near New Jersey.
Despite his party affiliation, Markowitz has long championed Bloomberg. Earlier this year, he supported the mayor’s controversial rezoning of Coney Island, the mayor’s bid to overturn term limits, and the Atlantic Yards mega-project, though he did slam Bloomberg last year for cutting the budget of the office of the borough president.
“Do we agree on everything? No,” Markowitz admitted today. “But I know we agree that Brooklyn is where New York City begins.”
Markowitz specifically cited the duo’s shared support for the Brooklyn Bridge Park development plan, Atlantic Yards, the CityPoint tower in Downtown Brooklyn, and a plan to revitalize the Sunset Park waterfront.
It’s not the first time Markowitz endorsed Bloomberg for re-election. Four years ago, Markowitz, who was a Democrat then, too, backed the mayor over Fernando Ferrer.
For his part, Bloomberg has always praised Markowitz, albeit always with a wink and a nod to the Beep’s legendary comic gifts. And during a wave of anti-borough president sentiment last year, said only that Markowitz and his four counterparts were “probably worth the money” for the city.
Today, Bloomberg hailed Markowitz for his own Sully-like heroism.
“Marty’s decision to join our campaign shows what Brooklynites already know: Marty has the courage of his convictions,” Bloomberg said.
Markowitz’s endorsement comes one day after the Community Newspaper Group, of which The Brooklyn Paper is a part, urged voters to re-elect Bloomberg in an editorial that was published in all of the company’s 30 newspapers and Web sites in The Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens.