Mayor de Blasio can’t run for a third term, but many fans of Hizzoner are hitching their wagon to his former chief counsel Maya Wiley as the next best thing.
“Love Maya, she is f–king brilliant, and a strong black woman. She’s great. She has a lot of fans in the administration for sure,” said one City Hall insider, who said Wiley supporters among the Gotham deep state were considerable. “There’s already some staffers and former staffers that are holding fundraisers for her.”
It’s more than just some.
Eight of the 10 members of a host committee for a planned virtual fundraiser for Wiley on Sept. 23 are current or former members of the de Blasio administration. Among them are Gael Black, a senior director at the NYC Commission on Gender Equity, and Chelsea Davis, a director at the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.
Another fundraiser will feature Elvin Garcia and Remy Salas, former borough community affairs directors in the Bronx and Manhattan, respectively.
Max Markham, another de Blasio veteran who spent more than three years as chief of the Mayor’s Office of Policy & Planning, is one of the lead organizers of the Sept. 23 soiree for his former colleague.
“She really showed a dedication to the city and a real sort of mastery of a lot of issues. I am really compelled by a lot of what she believes in,” Markham told The Post.
Wiley’s progressive fans — many of whom are down on de Blasio — hope and expect the 56-year-old lawyer to tack leftward. They point approvingly to her tweets dinging the mayor and calling for an independent investigation into a police siege outside the home of a Black Lives Matter leader this month.
They, may, however, be disappointed. Wiley’s Blaz fingerprints aren’t just confined to the bleacher seats, but extend to the highest levels of her nascent campaign.
Her de-facto spokesman, Jon Paul Lupo, is a close de Blasio ally who spent five years as a senior administration official, and worked on the mayor’s doomed presidential bid in 2019.
Wiley’s campaign treasurer is Cathy Albisa, a de Blasio appointee to the city Commission on Human Rights. There’s also close de Blasio pal Patrick Gaspard, former ambassador to South Africa, who has “been calling people on Wiley’s behalf,” according to Politico.
Former Blaz senior advisor Alison Hirsh — who left the administration in June over the mayor’s handling of Black Lives Matter protests — has been working the phones for Wiley. “I know that she is informally advising the campaign, calling around trying to figure out support,” one Democratic operative who’d been lobbied by Hirsh told The Post. Hirsh declined to comment.
“Running as the heir to Bill de Blasio will make her a unique candidate in the race,” GOP city councilman Joe Borelli told The Post.
Wiley will have to contend with a long roster of well-funded, well-known Dem contenders, including city Comptroller Scott Stringer, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. She has so far not reported fundraising numbers.