Advocacy Group "Anybody But Quinn" Got Exactly What They Wanted

They wanted anybody but Quinn, and they got one. Possibly even two.

The Anybody But Quinn campaign celebrated election returns last night at Mustang Sally's at 28th Street and 7th Avenue. Culminating there in that nondescript midtown bar at the northern edge of Chelsea was a four-year campaign to make sure that, no matter what, Christine Quinn never became the city's chief executive. The group's alternative? Anyone. Really, anyone at all.

So when Bill de Blasio and Bill Thompson shut Quinn out of any potential runoff, the packed room exploded with cheers and applause. It was that special kind of glee you feel when someone you hate eats it on the sidewalk. Quinn tripped hard, and ABQ was partying harder.

A Cross-Section of Anger

With no single issue to unite the group, how did ABQ fill that bar's back room with volunteers and supporters? In fact, it was full precisely because there was no single issue--according to ABQ organizers and volunteers, Quinn falls on the wrong side of all them.

Attendees of the party all told different versions of the same story: They had spent the weeks and months ahead of the primary out in their hard-to-miss cardinal red ABQ t-shirts, and the most common reaction was hearty, hearty approval.

It was a diffuse, widespread anger against Speaker Quinn that brought her campaign to its knees. She had managed to piss off so many interest groups--labor, animal rights, and gay rights activist chief among them--that the election party seemed more like a convention for the city's rag-tag special interests than a collection of political operatives.

Voters, at least the ones clinking beer steins over her defeat, had called on years of disappointment in Quinn's record on their pet projects to ensure her primary defeat. Importantly, she is the only candidate to provoke such ire.

"You don't see an anti-Thompson campaign," said John Phillips, 27, an ABQ advisor and former Executive Director the League of Humane Voters.

Next: Anybody But Quinn: A Brief History

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