Koch told the New York Observer Monday that after giving up hope that Police Commissioner Ray Kelly might throw his hat in the race, he believes Quinn is the best choice to lead the City of New York.
“I urged Ray Kelly to run for the last year-and-a-half. He told me he would not. I urged him again, he told me he would not. And when he decided he would not, I started backing Chris Quinn,” Koch reportedly said.
Quinn, who has not yet officially declared her intention to run, is widely considered to be the frontrunner in the city-wide race, leading a pack that includes former Comptroller Bill Thompson, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.
Koch said Quinn, who gushed over the former mayor at a ceremony renaming the Queensborough bridge in his honor last spring, shared his moderate leanings and had the best experience to lead.
“I believe that she is the best one for New York because I think she’ll be in the tradition of being in the center candidate like I was center left,” he told the paper.
“I think she’ll follow in the tradition of Mike Bloomberg and, of all the candidates, I think she has the most experience and the best philosophy to lead New York in these difficult times," he said.
Koch later told the Times that, at nearly 90 years old, he didn't feel it was necessary to drag his feet before revealing his choice to win.
"I’m 87 today — I’m not looking to roll up i.o.u.’s," he reportedly said, giving a nod to several others, including Mark Weprin for City Council Speaker and Cyrus Vance to serve another term as Manhattan District Attorney.
If elected, Quinn would become the city's first female mayor.