Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
As the Bloomberg for President speculation reached Fred Thompson levels of hysteria over the past few days, it dawned on me that I had no idea who takes over if the mayor of New York City leaves office early.
The same question dawned on the New York Times, which offers the answer: Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum. As the Times explains, the city rules for special elections are a bit murky, so it's unclear whether she would serve out the rest of Bloomberg's term, which ends in January 2010.
Gotbaum, 68, is a veteran of city government who keeps a low profile. She would be a notable mayor for a couple of reasons beyond, you know, running a city of 8 million people. She'd be New York City's first Democratic mayor in 15 years and the only woman nationwide in charge of a city of a million or more people, unless a woman wins elsewhere between now and then (Dallas' Laura Miller is leaving office).
Her tenure also might prompt someone to write, "Gotbaum governs Gotham." Say that five times fast.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.