De Blasio Celebrates Birthday by Holding Fundraiser

Grace Rauh

Like most politicians, Mayor Bill de Blasio celebrated his birthday by holding a fundraiser Tuesday night. But arguably, the best present he is getting is a path to re-election that at this point looks very clear. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.

Mayor Bill de Blasio snuck in the side door for his birthday fundraiser while his supporters lined up outside Le Poisson Rouge on Bleecker Street. 

"I want to wish him a happy birthday, blow out the candles and have a great time," said one supporter.

The mayor is raising money for his re-election campaign, a campaign that so far is not shaping up to be much of a fight. His pool of challengers is shrinking, and those that remain seem like longshots at best. 

Even a man who lives in the only borough the mayor lost in 2013 says de Blasio is in a strong position.

"I don't think he has much to worry about, and I live on Staten Island," the man said.

But some de Blasio backers say they are not taking anything for granted, especially in light of the unexpected outcome in the presidential race. 

"Listen, look at where we live and what just happened in November. I don't think anything's a foregone conclusion," said one supporter.

Political consultant George Arzt, who attended the mayor's fundraiser, says the mayor needs to keep campaigning and fundraising, even though the race has so far been sleepy.

"The other day, he told me, 'You can't rest on your laurels.' So I think this is a case of being safe rather than sorry, and having the money," Arzt said.

The mayor's fundraiser did draw at least one prominent critic, the president of the correction officers' union, who brought along two trucks lit up with messages for the mayor.

"I'm protesting because the mayor is not paying attention," said Elias Husamudeen, president of the Correction Officers' Benevolent Association. "The jails are not safe. More than 1,300 correction officers have been assaulted in the last 15 months. His commissioner has proven to be a failure."

Indeed, the problems uncovered at the Correction Department are a headache for de Blasio, but so far, they do not seem to be threatening his shot at a second term.