NYC mayoral candidate accused of sexual assault won’t drop out of race

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer said Friday he will not drop out of the mayoral race as a sexual assault claim roils his campaign.

“I understand that this is a difficult moment for my supporters, and I know that some of them will feel compelled to withdraw their endorsement of my candidacy,” Stringer, a Democrat, said in a statement. 

“I’ve received a lot of support on campaign stops over the last two days, and I’m going to be campaigning in every neighborhood, in every borough for the next two months,” he added. “I look forward to seeing my opponents on the campaign trail and at the debates.”

Stringer’s campaign has been rocked by an allegation from Jean Kim, a lobbyist who said she was an unpaid volunteer on Stringer’s staff. Kim has accused Stringer of groping and kissing her without her consent during his 2001 public advocate campaign. She also said he put his hands between her legs in several cab rides and berated her for not sleeping with him. 

Stringer has denied any wrongdoing and said he had a casual and consensual relationship with Kim. 

“Let me say that I believe women — making sure all women can come forward and tell their stories without an assumption they’re lying. I respect that and agree with that even when it isn’t convenient for me,” he said during a candidate forum Thursday. “But the truth is I did not do any of what I’ve been accused of.” 

Despite his denials, Stringer has begun shedding support. Food & Water Action, an environmental group, and UFCW Local 1500, a union representing about 20,000 grocery workers in New York, have dropped their endorsements. The latest blow came Friday when Politico reported that the Working Families Party was also withdrawing its support. 

Stringer is running in a crowded Democratic field to replace outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), who is term limited. The winner of the June 22 primary is expected to be the heavy favorite in the Nov. 2 general election.

Tags Bill de Blasio New York City mayoral race Scott Stringer

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