NEW YORK CITY — Democratic mayoral hopeful Bill Thompson bowed out of the race Monday morning, six days after Public Advocate Bill de Blasio finished ahead of every other candidate in the Democratic primary.
"Today, a week after the primary, we still don't know the outcome of the election. We don't know if there should be a runoff. We don't know how many votes I got," Thompson said on the steps of City Hall Monday, flanked by Bill de Blasio, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a host of other Democratic power players.
"Under those circumstances ... it would be a disservice to my supporters, a disservice to my campaign, and a disservice to New Yorkers" to continue to campaign, he added. "Bill de Blasio and I want to move our city forward in the same direction. This is bigger than either one of us."
"I am proud to stand here today and support Bill de Blasio to be the next mayor of the city of New York," Thompson said, urging all of his supporters to do the same.
Thompson took home 26 percent of the vote in the primary on Sept. 10 behind de Blasio, who garnered 40 percent, just shy of an outright win.
Thompson had hoped that a full count of the ballots would eat into de Blasio's lead, but sources said he abandoned that idea after the Board of Elections' initial canvas of the voting machines didn't show any reduction in de Blasio's margin of victory.
Thompson started calling his supporters early Monday morning to break the news, sources said.
Cuomo praised Thompson's decision, saying, "It can be much harder to step back than to step forward. It takes a man of substance and it takes a man who really believes in the principles of the Democratic Party to do it, and that's who Bill Thompson is."
The Governor, who had previously declined to endorse anyone in the mayor's race, also announced his support for de Blasio's bid.
"Bill and I go way, way back," Cuomo said, noting their work together in the Department of Housing and Urban Development under President Bill Clinton.
"Bill [de Blasio] is going to lead this city in the great progressive Democratic traditions that have made this the greatest city on the planet," Cuomo said.
"There is nothing more beautiful than Democratic unity," de Blasio said after being lauded by Thompson and Cuomo.
Thompson railed against the Board of Elections for dragging its feet on the recount process, adding that it could take the agency through the set runoff date to get around to counting all the votes, potentially rendering the recount moot. But he added that he wanted to make sure that whoever gets into office, that the electoral system be fixed.
"This electoral process has to be improved. We can't have what happened to me as a candidate happen to any other candidate for any other city office. There has to be some fundamental reform," Thompson said.
After the event, Cuomo was asked about his support for de Blasio over Joe Lhota, the Republican mayoral nominee and the governor's former pick to head the MTA.
"It's not to take anything away from Joe Lhota. I've worked with him. He is a great professional. I think Bill de Blasio, given his experience and record, he will do a superb job," Cuomo said.