BY JON CRONIN
Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) ended speculation for his mayoral run earlier this week with a single tweet, “I believe the people of NYC deserve better than Bill de Blasio, but I will not be a candidate for mayor this year.”
He later announced that he would seek re-election as a city councilman.
In May, Ulrich officially filed to establish Ulrich 2017, an exploratory committee testing the waters for a potential bid.
The councilman, who grew up in Ozone Park, has been critical of de Blasio’s reduction of stop and frisk and his attempt to create a five-cent plastic bag tax, citing that it was literally nickel and diming a constituency who cannot afford it.
In a recent NY1 interview, Ulrich said of de Blasio, “If you look at his lackluster performance and his inability to bring people together in this city, I think that he absolutely can be a one-term mayor and I think he can be beat.”
Although Ulrich is a Republican, he supports some liberal causes, such as gay marriage, pro-choice and family leave. He also supported Democrat Melissa Mark-Viverito for speaker of the city council.
One of Ulrich’s triumphs on the council was his receiving bipartisan support for the formation of the city’s Agency of Veteran Affairs, which will become fully funded when the city’s fiscal year begins on July 1. Previously, the office functioned as the Mayor’s Office of Veteran’s Affairs, but Ulrich believed that the understaffed, underfunded wing of the mayor’s office did not adequately serve the city’s veterans, especially in Queens, which has the most veterans of any borough.
So far, the only contenders in the mayoral race are former city police detective and private investigator Bo Dietl, who is running as an Independent, and real estate developer Paul Massey, a Republican.
Reach Jon Cronin at 718-357-7400 x125, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @JonathanSCronin