By: DAVID SEIFMAN
December 7, 2012
The little-known lesbian past of Bill de Blasio’s wife was dropped on his mayoral campaign like a hot potato this week to try to stop him from gaining traction in the mayoral race, according to a top political operative.
“He was starting to get a little buzz,” said the operative, who has been involved in Democratic politics for three decades. “This is designed to prevent any growth beyond his rock-solid base.”
Many people in the political world were dumbfounded Wednesday when Chirlane McCray, who married de Blasio in 1994, issued a statement saying she “identified” as a lesbian before meeting de Blasio.
THAT’S HER MAN:Mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio and “ex-lesbian” wife Chirlane McCray.
McCray felt compelled to discuss her sexual preferences publicly after the Politicker Web site reported she had written an article for Essence magazine in 1979, titled “I am a Lesbian.”
De Blasio has positioned himself as the most progressive of the four Democratic mayoral contenders and, by the operative’s reckoning, needs to grab “every vote he can” outside that base to be competitive.
“This has to hurt him,” said the operative.
But gay political activists insisted most voters wouldn’t be put off by the heterosexual shift made by de Blasio’s wife.
“It’s totally irrelevant,” said Allen Roskoff, president of the Jim Owles Democratic Club and one of the city’s best-known gay leaders. “Get a life.”
“Not too many people care about this any more,” agreed Andy Humm, a longtime gay leader.
He joked that de Blasio’s wife could hurt her husband’s mayoral campaign only be revealing that she’s really a Republican.