New York City Comptroller candidate David Weprin (left) and PBA President Patrick Lynch (right) (AP; New York Daily News)
Assemblyman and city comptroller candidate David Weprin won the endorsement of the powerful rank-and-file police union Wednesday — a nod of approval that sets him apart from his rivals, but that will likely be seen as a liability among voters with strong feelings about police reform.
Weprin, who also ran for the top fiscal watchdog job in 2009, now has endorsements from all of the city’s top police unions.
“David Weprin has the expertise and experience to steer our city through the challenging financial waters ahead,” Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said Wednesday. “He knows that nothing in this city works without public safety, and he will work with police officers — not against us — to achieve it. That’s why we’re proud to endorse him.”
While a Lynch endorsement may turn some voters off, it could also have the opposite effect on those concerned about a sustained uptick in violent crime over the past year.
The city’s comptroller serves as a fiscal watchdog and a check on the mayor and is also responsible for overseeing the pensions of thousands of public employees, including cops.
Weprin, a Queens Democrat who previously served as head of the City Council’s Finance Committee and worked under Gov. Mario Cuomo as his deputy superintendent of banks, is running in a primary against City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Councilman Brad Lander, state Sens. Brian Benjamin and Kevin Parker, former Marine Zach Iscol and journalist Michelle Caruso-Cabrera.
Weprin appeared with Lynch on Wednesday outside the 1st Precinct stationhouse downtown to announce the endorsement.
“These brave men and women put their lives on the line for us each and every day they wake up and put on the uniform, and for that, we owe them our unbridled thanks and our commitment to ensure their financial security,” Weprin said. “I am honored to receive the support of the PBA and its leadership, but more importantly, I value the trust they have placed in me to manage their pensions and their financial futures.”