Scott Stringer is in search of redemption.
The struggling New York mayoral candidate took to churches in Brooklyn on Sunday, vowing to move his campaign forward after losing most of his high-profile supporters to allegations of sexual misconduct.
“In the midst of a crisis, when you feel upset, you come to church. I myself had a reversal this week. But what’s really important is how you stand up and solve the problem, ”Stringer told Evening Star Baptist Church in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
“Nobody knocks me out. I will stand up straight. I will make my case. I’ll make sure people hear what I have to say, ”he said.
A former campaign volunteer, Jean Kim, accused Stringer of groping and kissing her while running for New York City public counsel 20 years ago. He denies the allegations.
On Saturday evening, Representative Adriano Espaillat (DN.Y.), City Council members Mark Levine and Diana Ayala, Assembly Carmen De La Rosa (D-Manhattan) and State Senator José Serrano (D-Bronx) became the last group. endorsers to withdraw their support. A coalition of Muslim groups that backed Stringer last Sunday also withdrew its approval on Saturday.
This follows Friday’s withdrawals by the Working Families Party and a host of young progressive lawmakers whose backers have been crucial to Stringer’s campaign – the senses. Alessandra Biaggi (D-Westchester), Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx) and Julia Salazar (D-Brooklyn), Assembly members Yuh-Line Niou (D-Manhattan) and Catalina Cruz (D-Queens) and representative Jamaal Bowman (DN.Y.).
Stringer made brief indirect references to his problems in his remarks at three Brooklyn churches, but stuck to his normal stump speech, vowing to prioritize equality in the city’s return from Covid- 19. He plans to maintain a regular and comprehensive campaign schedule in the coming days in the hope of overcoming the controversy, according to his campaign.
“You are losing old friends, you have to make new friends,” Stringer told reporters on Sunday. “So I am in the countryside and I am running for town hall.” When asked who these new friends would be, he replied, “We will see election day.” Primary is scheduled for June 22.
Although Stringer failed unsuccessfully to keep his supporters on board, he publicly ignored their decisions to withdraw their approvals.
“I made my statements. People have to make decisions, ”he said. “Now I have to go out and campaign. I must be on television. I must be on the street. I have a very busy schedule and we are doing what we can. But I am very optimistic. I intend to be the next mayor of New York. “
Stringer says he had an intermittent consensual relationship with Kim twenty years ago and has vigorously denied his account, which includes accusations he put his hands in his pants, touched his thighs while commuting in taxi and asked him, “Why don’t you f — me?”
He repeated his denials in an interview aired Sunday on WABC’s “Up Close with Bill Ritter”.
“I mean, without any hesitation, a total, outright and categorical denial of each of these allegations,” he said. “This is not how I speak. This is not how I act. “
He said he believes two important backers, Rep. Jerry Nadler (DN.Y.) and the United Teachers’ Federation, plan to stay with him.
The UFT said there had been no change in its approval. Nadler did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Stringer vowed not to quit the race as several of his opponents have urged him to do.
“Stay tuned. Tell everyone to reserve me a spot on the debate stage. I can’t wait for this,” he said.
While Stringer has lent his support, other mayoral candidates obtained approvals on Sunday.
Lawyer Maya Wiley has been approved by the assembly of Queens Jeff Aubry and launched a coalition called Black Men for Maya.
Several Muslim organizations have supported Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.