UPPER EAST SIDE — A top neighborhood Democratic club has reversed its non-endorsement position on the mayor's race and has decided to back Bill Thompson because of the candidate's new anti-Marine Transfer Station stance, DNAinfo.com New York has learned.
In May, the East Side Democratic Club snubbed all the Democratic mayoral hopefuls for City Hall because they supported the controversial East 91st Street project.
But an increasing number of members reconsidered their position because the former comptroller now adamantly advocates against the station's construction, East Side Democratic Club President Betsy Feist said.
"In conversations, I picked up that many of our members were now ready to get behind Thompson," said Feist, 71. "I thought we could do a vote on it and see whether it was the prevailing view of the club, and it is."
Feist said the vote was tallied on Monday.
"It was an overwhelming decision, even though it wasn't a unanimous one," she added.
Feist said it's still unclear how the club will help with Thompson's campaign. Still, members were looking forward to a political reunion with Thompson, whom they endorsed in his failed mayoral bid in 2009, Feist added.
The East 91st Street MTS, which activists long considered a health and quality-of-life risk, remains the top issue for area residents.
"There are an awful lot of very important issues that are combined in this one thing," she said. "There are environmental and health and green space issues, there are issues of safety, so it isn't just about building a specific building."
The East Side Democratic club's change of course comes after the MTS issue gained prominence in citywide politics.
Thompson and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who supports the station, recently traded barbs over the MTS. Anti-MTS activists vow that Quinn's position will cost her votes — and have made it their goal to make sure she doesn't get elected.
Neither Thompson nor Quinn's camp were immediately available for comment.