NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — After months of speculation, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Saturday he’d refrain from publically endorsing a candidate ahead of Thursday’s Democratic gubernatorial primary.

“It will be my job to partner with the next governor and lieutenant governor on behalf of the working people of our city,” de Blasio said in a statement sent to CBS2. “New York City must have a voice in state policy that shapes so much of our lives. I believe endorsing a candidate in these races is at this moment counter productive to that advocacy. My vote Thursday will be between me and my ballot.”

GALLERYNY Democratic Gubernatorial Debate

The mayor continued, saying both candidates were proof that “the progressive movement is ascendant” in New York.

“My philosophical differences with Governor Cuomo are no secret. But at the end of the day, it is without question that there is more that unites us than divides us. He deserves credit for acting on the popular demand for the $15 minimum wage and paid family leave. He deserves credit for making marriage equality a reality and for challenging President Trump,”‎ de Blasio said of the incumbent Cuomo.

“Cynthia Nixon is someone I have stood shoulder to shoulder with in activism. Her presence in this primary has created real momentum for reform. On education, criminal justice reform, and the reunification of State Senate Democrats, Cynthia’s contributions have no doubt improved the lives of working people,” the mayor said of the challenger, Nixon.

Cuomo and Nixon each made their case to New York’s Democratic voters in a highly-anticipated primary debate at Hofstra University last month.

Following heated exchanges on topics ranging from mandatory bereavement leave, to unions, to the New York City Housing Authority, the candidates were asked whether they would seek de Blasio’s endorsement. The mayor, a liberal Democrat, has had a long, frosty relationship with Cuomo, and has been a close ally of Nixon’s.

Neither candidate said yes.

Nixon said she’s running her own campaign and isn’t taking direction from anyone, while Cuomo said that he wouldn’t try to tell the mayor how to vote.

The Democratic primary winner faces Republican Marc Molinaro, Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins and independent Stephanie Miner in November. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in New York by more than 2-1.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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