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United Federation Of Teachers Backs Bill Thompson For Mayor

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The United Federation of Teachers has endorsed former City Comptroller Bill Thompson as its choice for the next New York City mayor.

"This entire city school system is about helping teachers help children, and we now have the candidate that we know will do that," said union president Michael Mulgrew.

As WCBS 880's Monica Miller reported Wednesday evening, Mulgrew said Thompson got the support of its roughly 200,000 members because his education policies are in sync with theirs. Thompson has said he is in favor of mayoral control over the city's schools and retroactive raises for teachers.

United Federation Of Teachers Backs Bill Thompson For Mayor

"These are the people who stand in front of our children each and every day," Mulgrew said.

The UFT did not endorse anyone at all in the 2009 mayoral race, when Thompson ran unsuccessfully against Mayor Michael Bloomberg. But Mulgrew said now is a different time, and the union is in a different place.

The Council of School Supervisors and Administrators – the union representing New York City school principals – endorsed Thompson on Tuesday.

"As we contemplate the sizable and strong field of candidates vying to become NYC mayor, one of the most powerful positions in the U.S., CSA must decide which of several fine individuals will restore the power and influence of NYC's middle class, its very bedrock. When it comes to quality of life and upward mobility, our solidly middle class members have been losing ground. Worse, most of the children they serve have been slipping further below the poverty line," principals' union head Ernest Logan said in a statement announcing the group's endorsement.

Both unions have clashed with Mayor Michael Bloomberg over issues including school closings and teacher and principal evaluations.

Bloomberg said Monday that the UFT endorsement would be "almost the kiss of death.''

Thompson, a Democrat, is the former president of the Board of Education.

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