NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is being pressed by Republican Party officials to be their candidate to replace Michael Bloomberg as mayor, but an exclusive poll done for CBS 2 News found that New Yorkers aren’t wild about the idea.
Kelly is one of the most popular people in the city, but residents have a message for him: “don’t give up your day job,” reported political reporter Marcia Kramer.
Asked in an exclusive CBS 2/Rasmussen poll if Kelly should run for mayor, 33 percent said “yes,” while 49 percent said “no.” Another 17 percent said they were not sure.
People like the police commissioner — he has a 67-percent approval rating — but asked if they would vote for him for mayor, 42 percent said they were either very or somewhat likely to cast a ballot for him, while 47 percent said they were not very or not at all likely to vote for him.
Political consultant Hank Sheinkopf said he thinks the findings show people want Kelly to stay in the NYPD, not leave to seek elective office because he’s kept the city safe from terrorism in this post-9/11 world.
“But they also don’t want the police commissioner running for mayor as police commissioner. The separation between policing and politics in this town is something that goes very deep into people’s psyche,” Sheinkopf said.
“I don’t really like the idea of a police commissioner being in politics. I think they should be separate. It doesn’t look good,” Bronx resident William Johnson said.
When asked if she would vote for him, Greenwich Village resident Eileen Hochman said, “I don’t know, I don’t know. Up ‘til now I might … I might vote for him.”
“I think he’s been a decent police commissioner, but mayor is a whole different job,” added Pat Gibson of Midtown.
Republican Party Pooh-Bahs are furiously trying to convince Kelly to run. Former New York Stock Exchange chairman Richard Grasso told Kramer he’ll pitch in and tap his wealthy friends to raise money for Kelly.
“I think he’s been a phenomenal police commissioner. He would bring to the mayoral the same level of competence of some of the greatest mayors we’ve ever had,” Grasso said.
But what if Kelly decides to stay out of politics?
“If Ray Kelly doesn’t run I will seriously consider it, Marcia, but only if I believe I can win,” Grasso said.
So while it may be early, 2013 is shaping up as a very interesting political year.
No police commissioner has ever become mayor on New York City. Theodore Roosevelt ran for mayor and lost before he became police commissioner.
However, Lee Brown, who ran the NYPD under David Dinkins, did become mayor of Houston, Kramer reported.
Would you vote for Kelly if he threw his hat into the mayoral ring? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below. …