Following a press conference last week about the escalating gun violence in Southeast Queens, Smith was pressed by a couple of reporters about all of the rumors that the was meeting with GOP leaders and was considering switching parties to make a shot at the mayor’s office next year.
A seasoned politician, Smith refused to answer the questions directly, instead offering up clichéd responses such as “I’m focused on the issues in my district” and that “he would worry about running for mayor when that time comes.”
However, he did admit that he has been meeting with Republican leaders throughout the city, and argued the issues that the next mayor would have to address weren’t necessarily Republican or Democratic issues, so party affiliation was not of the utmost importance.
When asked by this paper if he was considering running as a Republican because it would be too difficult to win in a crowded Democratic Primary race with some big political names - like Christine Quinn, Bill Thompson, Bill de Blasio, John Liu, and even Scott Stringer - rumored to be interested in a run, Smith didn’t bite.
He said right now he was focused on winning re-election to his State Senate seat, although he quickly added “as a Democrat.”
Maybe party affiliation does matter sometimes.