First lady Chirlane McCray will not be Brooklyn’s next borough president.
McCray, the wife of Mayor Bill de Blasio, announced her decision not to run for the position on Thursday night.
“It was a difficult decision. I thought about running for Brooklyn borough president long and hard,” McCray said in a brief NY1 interview with “Live at Ten” host Cheryl Wills.
McCray said she will spend the remainder of de Blasio’s mayoral term through 2021 helping New Yorkers recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
“My priority is to see this thing through,” McCray said. “My focus is on the work I’m doing right now”
“It’s a very difficult time. People are struggling.”
Asked if she could consider running for office in the future, McCray said, “I don’t know what the future holds. There is a lot of uncertainty.”
Candidates now seeking to become borough president include Council Members Robert Cornegy and Antonio Reynoso and Assemblywoman Joann Simon.
McCray has played an influential role in her husband’s administration, but it’s been a rocky road.
The administration’s $1.25 billion NYC Thrive mental health program she launched has been criticized as a money pit, which has failed to help the most seriously mentally ill roaming the streets.
McCray also oversees the “She Built NYC” program to honor pioneering women with statues. But she was roundly criticized for excluding Mother Frances Cabrini from the first list of women to be celebrated with a monument — even though the patron saint of immigrants had garnered the most nominations.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo then stepped in to quell the backlash from the Italian American Catholic community by putting up state funds to honor Cabrini with a statue. The governor unveiled the new Cabrini statue in Battery Park City on Columbus Day.
McCray also heads City Hall’s Commission on Racial Justice and Reconciliation.
De Blasio credited his wife earlier this year with persuading him to shift funding from the NYPD to youth and social service programs.
During the NY1 interview, McCray was also asked if her husband would run for public office again after his term at City Hall expires at the end of next year.
“That’s for Bill de Blasio to decide. He needs to decide what he wants to do next,” the first lady said.
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