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Former Bronx BP Carrion Becomes Independence Party's Favorite In Mayoral Race

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The Independence Party has been instrumental in putting Mayor Michael Bloomberg in office, and now it has a clear favorite for 2013, the unaffiliated former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

The Independence Party has helped propel Mayor Michael Bloomberg to City Hall three times. It is a party nomination that offers another ballot line for any mayoral candidate.

"When we first endorsed Mike Bloomberg in 2001, he won that election by about 35,000 votes and we got 59,000 votes on the Independence Party line. So those votes were key to him becoming mayor in the first place," said Jacqueline Salit, an Independence Party strategist.

Potential candidates for 2013 are already lining up, literally, to run on its column.

"I've been on the line before and I would be proud to be on it again," said City Comptroller John Liu.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's campaign says she would seek the Independence Party line for a potential run for mayor.

Former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion has recently switched from Democrat to being unaffiliated with any party. That move has made him a party favorite.

"He's surely the leading candidate for getting the endorsement of the Independence Party, and he's worked hard to be in that position," said Salit.

Some are not enticed by the party, even if it has the power to turn the tide of an election.

"You know there have been so many allegations that have been made about the Independence Party, things that look like fraud and other concerns about how they added to their membership. So, no, I am going to be seeking the Independence Party line at all," said mayoral candidate Bill Thompson.

One of its leaders, Lenora Fulani, sparked controversy over anti-Semitic remarks she's made in the past and her connections to a controversial form of therapy.

Others, like Thompson, question whether the party has duped voters during registration to inflate their voter rolls.

Leaders of the party fired back on Monday.

"When Thompson was running for mayor the last time, he came to the Independence Party, wanted our support, very strongly pursued it. And that's the actual history there," Salit said.

Leaders of the city's Independence Party are not wasting much time and say they will be selecting a candidate within the next month.

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