Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Marty Markowitz Retiring from Politics
Count him out of the mayoral race.
Marty Markowitz -- the powerful, popular Brooklyn borough president who had seriously considered a bid to replace Mayor Bloomberg in 2013 -- is no longer interested in the gig, sources told The Post yesterday.
In fact, the 66-year-old Markowitz, who can’t run for re-election again as borough president because of term limits, has been telling close confidants he’s grown tired of the strains of political life altogether and is not planning to run for any other elected post.
“He just wants to retire when this term is up and spend more time with his wife and enjoy himself,” said a political insider. “It’s a right he’s earned.”
The usually bombastic Beep remained tight-lipped about the issue yesterday, saying through a spokesman only that he’s “not ready to make any formal announcements yet” about his future.
The news that Markowitz wants to retire when his final term expires in 2013 comes on the heels of a conflict-of-interest controversy over his many junkets.
In July, Markowitz was slapped with a $20,000 fine by the city Conflicts of Interest Board for bringing without prior approval his wife, Jamie, on freebie business trips to the Netherlands and Turkey.
Markowitz has protested the board’s decision but said he’ll pay the fine.
One of the Beep’s representatives said yesterday the reprimand had no bearing on Markowitz’s decision.
Markowitz previously served as a state senator for 23 years before being elected borough president -- his “dream job,” he has said -- in November 2001.
He was re-elected twice with little opposition but is legally barred from seeking a fourth term.
As borough president, he played a major role in the opening of the Red Hook cruise-ship terminal, attracting new development to Downtown Brooklyn and Coney Island and convincing the owners of the NBA New Jersey Nets to move into a new Prospect Heights arena next year.
But Markowitz has also infuriated his share of constituents, including bicycle activists, over his opposition to a bike lane along Prospect Park West.
Opponents of the controversial Atlantic Yards project, including the new Nets arena, regularly ridicule him for being its biggest booster.
The Post reported in June that when Rep. Anthony Weiner sexted himself out of New York’s mayoral race, Markowitz was considering running for mayor.
Political observers at the time gave him a legitimate shot to win, given his enormous popularity in Brooklyn -- the city’s largest borough population-wise, with 2.6 million resi- dents.
He had yet to make a move to begin raising funds to run for mayor.