Barrett: Yassky Meets His Endorser

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David Yassky, the Brooklyn councilman running for comptroller in the September 29 runoff, was greeting voters at the 72nd Street subway stop last night, standing on that island in the middle of Broadway. It was getting close to 7 p.m. and the rush hour crowd had shrunk to a handful. I told him that I'd come up there to see him interact with voters on primary night and, instead, he was spending all his time talking to me. As I said it, I spied a familiar face walking towards us.

The 45-year-old councilman was turned sideways away from the oncoming stroller, who had apparently just climbed out of the subway. So I steered Yassky's attention to him. Yassky stopped the man, sticking out his hand, introducing himself, and starting into a spiel he must have delivered thousands of times, expressing his hopes that the sheepish-looking, unsmiling man might see his way to support him.

"He's already endorsed you," I chimed in and Yassky turned back to me perplexed.

The man introduced himself. "I'm Arthur Sulzberger Jr.," he said.

Yassky was only momentarily stunned. He began thanking the owner of the New York Times for its endorsement. "If I win, it's because of you," gushed Yassky.

Sulzberger said not to thank him, that the Times endorsed him because of who he is and what he's done.

Yassky is now locked into a two-week campaign to overcome the eight-point margin that John Liu, another councilman running for comptroller, beat him by last night. The Times will undoubtedly speak out again on its editorial page, pushing Yassky, who will either become comptroller or see a promising political career come to an early end.

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