Has the scandal that has ensnared state Sen. Malcolm Smith and sent shock waves through the Republican Party in New York City created a unique window of opportunity for another GOP candidate to jump into the fray? It certainly seemed like that was a possibility when City & State spoke with Brooklyn megachurch pastor A.R. Bernard earlier today.
“I’m no longer actively considering a run for mayor, however if there’s some compelling reason that presents itself, I remain open to that possibility,” said Rev. Bernard, the senior pastor and CEO of the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn.
Asked whether the erupting scandal constituted a “compelling reason,” Bernard laughed and said, “I think it’s going to be an interesting four or five months ahead of us, I really do.”
As for whether Bernard believed he could draw minority voters into the fold of the Republican Party and surmount the 6-to-1 registration advantage Democrats hold in the city, Bernard, a longtime Republican, replied, “I don’t think my running for mayor would convert many to become Republicans. I think they would be willing to vote for a Republican, as is exactly what has happened in New York City for the last 20 years. So although this is a very strongly Democratic town, Democrats are willing to vote for a Republican leader if they feel this is the individual best suited for the job.”