Despite the negative reviews (including here on ShakingNews), Bo Dietl’s campaign for Mayor continues. And maybe he has some better advisors now than when he announced his independent run for Mayor because he’s now seeking the Republican nomination.
Even though he’s an independent, Bo Dietl is seeking the Republican nomination for mayor. He’s already picked up the support of a Republican City Councilman from Queens.
Can he do that?
New York is one of the few states in the country where someone can win the nomination of a party without being a member.
Normally, this is plays out with third parties in what is called fusion voting. The Working Families Party can endorse someone from another party (usually a Democrat) and give them their ballot line; all the votes a candidate receives on different party lines are added up together. This prevents the spoiler effect where a third party candidate (think Ralph Nader in 2000) wins enough votes to cost the candidate closer to their views (Al Gore) the election. While Democrats are generally aligned with the Working Families Party, Republicans frequently also run on the Independence and Conservative Parties.
However, this is a little different. Bo Dietl is an independent but wants to run as a Republican. He’ll need permission from the Republican Party leaders in what’s called a “Wilson-Pakula”. For a citywide race like this, the five Republican county leaders (each borough is also a county) come together to decide whether to let Dietl, a non-Republican, run in the Republican primary.
Will they give him permission?
TBD. The County Leaders are meeting tomorrow to decide.
Right now, only one of the five leaders has indicated how they’ll decide. Former Congressman and Queens Republican Leader Bob Turner says he’s “not inclined” to give Dietl a pass. As he told Politico:
We’re out-registered by Dems 4 or 5 to 1, so I think we need a candidate who will have a broader appeal. Recall Mr. Trump won 62% of the primary vote in New York City. As the general election came, he wound up with 18 percent. We can duplicate that if we follow the same script.”
The Brooklyn and Manhattan leaders also went on the record, saying only that they’d wait to hear from Dietl at the meeting tomorrow.
What could happen?
There are three potential outcomes for Dietl: he could get an endorsement, the Wilson-Pakula certificate to run as a Republican, or his attempt could be rejected. Let’s explore those:
Dietl’s best possible outcome would be to not only get a Wilson-Pakula endorsement but also the Republican Party’s endorsement. He’d still need to run in and win the Republican primary in September but he’d have a leg up on the competition and would have Republican activists helping him. When Mayor Mike Bloomberg ran for re-election as an independent, Republicans not only gave him their ballot line but also endorsed him (though he did not have any Republican opponents).
Dietl should be happy with permission to run. While he’d obviously prefer to have an endorsement, the Wilson-Pakula certificate would enable him to run for the Republican nomination. He’s getting the most attention of any of the Republicans running now, though two other candidates–the billionaire owner of Gristedes, John Catsimatidis, and Staten Island Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis–could still run. If Dietl does get permission to run, he’s at least a top tier contender, owing both to his attention-getting habits and the weakness of the other declared Republican candidates, real estate executive Paul Massey and Harlem Reverend Michel Faulkner.
If Dietl doesn’t get the Wilson-Pakula, his campaign is likely over. He could still run as an independent and it’s even possible that he could run a write-in campaign to win the Republican Party nomination. However, either of those options would be an uphill climb and if he were to be successful, it would be completely unprecedented.
So what’s likely to happen?
Even with the Wilson-Pakula certificate, it’s incredibly unlikely that Bo Dietl would be the next Mayor. If anything, he’s likely to reprise the Trump-like fate Bob Turner warned about. Dietl might win the Republican primary but he’ll have a difficult time convincing Democrats to vote for him against Mayor Bill de Blasio in the general election.
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