My story from today’s Crain’s Insider:
After a less-than-impressive fundraising cycle, Bill Thompson is shaking up his mayoral campaign. What exactly that will look like is under wraps, but one insider said it could include new leadership or campaign co-chairs. A source close to Thompson’s campaign said “evolutionary changes” would be a more appropriate description than “shake-up.”
“I don’t know if there’s anything imminent,” the source said. “There definitely are changes that are developing to help round out the team and start to build momentum moving forward as we get into what clearly is a more pivotal part of the campaign.”
Of the five major mayoral candidates, Thompson had the worst fundraising in the last six-month cycle, raising $500,000. He has about $1.3 million on hand. All the candidates are expected to eventually hit the spending limit for the primary race, which is roughly $6.7 million. Thompson has higher name recognition than everyone but Council Speaker Christine Quinn but lacks an elected office to help power donations.
“If I were him, I’d be incredibly disappointed with this filing,” said one insider.
Right now, Eduardo Castell from the MirRam Group is Thompson’s lead campaign operative. The consulting firm Bedgrove Grove serves as his principal fundraiser; the firm’s Betsy Gotbaum, the former public advocate, sits on his finance committee. Consultant Marla Klinger is helping out with fundraising, while Butler Associates handles his public relations.
One name that has surfaced as a potential hire for Thompson is veteran consultant Hank Sheinkopf, who was notably snatched up by Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his relatively close victory over Thompson in 2009.
Sheinkopf said he stays in touch with Thompson, whom he worked for in 2001, but wouldn’t comment on whether an offer had been made.
“I talk to Bill. I talk to everyone else, too,” Sheinkopf said.
As for a shake-up, Sheinkopf said Thompson should be focused on fundraising at this stage in the campaign.
“If he has enough money to communicate and raise a field organization, he’s in the runoff,” he said. “He has to pick up his fundraising, there’s no question. But Bill Thompson has been counted out before.”