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NYC Police Chief Kelly Tops Voters’ Mayoral Wish List, Poll Says

New York City Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly
New York City Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly. Photographer: Andy Kropa/Getty Images

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly leads the field of potential mayoral candidates in 2013, even though he hasn’t expressed interest in the job, according to a Quinnipiac University poll.

Voters were asked who they most wanted to see elected mayor in 2013. Kelly got 23 percent support in the survey, the school’s first of attitudes toward the race to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The poll showed City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, 45, running second with 18 percent, and first at 23 percent with Kelly left out.

Kelly, 69, took command of the largest U.S. police department in January 2002, after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks destroyed the World Trade Center and killed more than 2,700. Since he took over, the city’s crime rate has dropped about 35 percent, according to police statistics. Voters rated his job performance positively, 67 percent to 17 percent. He scored a 71 percent job-approval rating in May.

“Kelly has never given the faintest hint that he’d like to move from police headquarters across the street to City Hall, but New York seems to like the idea,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute in Hamden, Connecticut.

“The commissioner has repeatedly said he feels he already has the best job for him and has no interest in running for mayor,” Paul Browne, a Kelly spokesman, said in an interview.

More Preferences

After Kelly and Quinn, voters said they preferred Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, at 12 percent; Comptroller John Liu, 10 percent; 2009 mayoral candidate William Thompson, 8 percent; Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, 6 percent, and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, 4 percent.

Those polled approved of Bloomberg’s job performance, 45 percent to 43 percent who disapproved, compared with a May 11 survey when 40 percent rated him positively and 49 percent negatively. City voters in the current survey said they admired Bloomberg personally, 64 percent to 20 percent, and 49 percent like his policies to 45 percent who said they didn’t.

Pollsters conducted 1,234 telephone interviews with city voters from July 19-25, and the survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points, the institute said.

The mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.

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