ST mayoral candidate focused on charters, affordable housing

Stuyvesant Town resident Joshua Thompson, formerly an employee of the Cory Booker administration in Newark, New Jersey, recently ditched a City Council campaign to run for mayor instead. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Stuyvesant Town resident Joshua Thompson, formerly an employee of the Cory Booker administration in Newark, New Jersey, recently ditched a City Council campaign to run for mayor instead. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Back in February, Town & Village interviewed the first person to officially become a candidate for the City Council seat currently occupied by a term-limited Dan Garodnick. That individual was Joshua Thompson, a resident of Stuyvesant Town who previously worked for then-mayor Cory Booker in Newark, New Jersey as well as for the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut. His platform, he admitted, was still in the works, but he considered education and affordable housing priorities. Then, in May, as T&V first reported, Thompson dropped out of the race, because he was running for mayor instead.

On a recent afternoon, Thompson met with a reporter to discuss his campaign and his surprising decision to run against an incumbent mayor (albeit an embattled one), as an unknown in the world of New York politics.

Asked if running for mayor was the plan from the beginning, Thompson said no. He’d been interested in running for the Council but later felt he wanted to help more under-served communities than those in the 4th District (which runs in a crooked, gerrymandered way from Stuyvesant Town to 96th Street along the East Side of Manhattan).

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Stuy Town man out of Council race, running for mayor instead

Joshua Thompson on First Avenue (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Joshua Thompson on First Avenue (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Joshua Thompson, the Stuyvesant Town resident who’d been running for the City Council seat currently occupied by a term-limited Dan Garodnick, is no longer on the ballot — because he’s running for mayor.

The 30-year-old candidate’s name appeared last week on a list of candidates on the New York City Campaign Finance Board’s website. Asked about the switch in direction, Thompson said via email that there would be a campaign launch event on May 24.

Town & Village profiled the candidate, then the only person running for Council in the 4th District in February. Thompson has previously worked for the Booker administration in Newark, New Jersey, where he grew up, and also recently held a job as director of education for the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Currently, he serves as executive director of external relations for the nonprofit New Leaders, which promotes leadership in education.

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Stuy Town resident running for Council

Joshua Thompson, who’s held government jobs in Newark, New Jersey and Bridgeport, Connecticut, is hoping to replace Dan Garodnick in the City Council. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Joshua Thompson, who’s held government jobs in Newark, New Jersey and Bridgeport, Connecticut, is hoping to replace Dan Garodnick in the City Council. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

With Council Member Dan Garodnick getting term-limited out, a Stuyvesant Town resident, Joshua Thompson, is hoping to succeed him, and has already gotten serious about amassing his war chest.

During an interview over coffee at the Coopertown Diner, which Thompson has come to think of as his second office, the Democratic candidate said his campaign has so far received $20,000. There’s also another $30,000 in pledged support.

Thompson, who’s 30 and from Newark, began his political career there under then-Mayor Cory Booker. Currently, he serves as executive director of external relations for the nonprofit New Leaders, which promotes leadership in education.

He moved to Stuy Town with his wife Julia, who founded the Bushwick location of charter school Achievement First, and the couple’s shih tzu-poodle mix pooch, Cody, in July of 2014. They’d also lived for a while on 85th Street in Manhattan and in Bridgeport, Connecticut when Thompson served as director of education for that city from 2012-2014.

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