NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson is expected to end his 2021 bid for mayor just months after a bruising budget battle that put him on the outs with many of the city’s progressive forces, two sources with knowledge of the matter have revealed to the Daily News.
Johnson, who represents Chelsea, the West Village and parts of Midtown, was regarded as a leading contender before COVID-19 hit the city. His boosterism and openness for a short time served as an antidote to Mayor de Blasio’s awkwardness and prickly demeanor — but the protests after George Floyd’s death and the Council’s handling of the NYPD in its budget irked many liberals who felt the Council should have reduced police funding more drastically.
On Wednesday afternoon, Johnson said he wasn’t ready to announce whether he was staying in the mayor’s race.
“When I do have anything to announce, I will, but at this moment my plans haven’t changed, and I’m continuing to focus just on doing this job,” he said.
Later in the evening, after rumors began circulating that he’d told senior staff he was abandoning his mayoral run, Johnson denied it.
“That’s not true,” he said in a text message.
“I’ve been dealing with this since the beginning of July,” he continued, referring to rumors. “Every week. Over and over again.”
Johnson is expected to make a formal announcement that he’s dropping out at 1 p.m. Thursday, a source with knowledge of the matter told The News.