Anthony Weiner’s top aide resigns as mayoral campaign struggles
By Eric M. Johnson
(Reuters) – The campaign manager who helped to guide Anthony Weiner’s bid for New York City mayor resigned over the weekend, a spokeswoman said on Sunday, as the Democratic former Congressman grapples with slumping poll numbers and fresh revelations of his sexually charged Internet activity.
Danny Kedem, 31, who joined Weiner’s long-shot campaign in early spring, helped to manage day-to-day political operations before abruptly quitting, said spokeswoman Barbara Morgan. She declined to comment on the timing or give a reason for his departure.
Weiner, 48, once a liberal voice in the U.S. Congress, resigned in June 2011 after admitting he used Twitter and other social media to send lewd pictures of himself to women he met online.
Weiner, speaking to reporters outside a Brooklyn church on Sunday, did not offer an explanation for Kedem’s departure but said he had done a “remarkable job” and praised his remaining campaign staffers.
“They’ve dealt with a presidential level of scrutiny and they’ve dealt with a candidate who has made some mistakes in his past and they are coming back up now,” he said.
Weiner, who launched his bid to be the next mayor of New York City earlier this year, briefly led his Democratic rivals in polls raising the possibility that he could overcome the scandal.
That momentum stalled this week when a gossip website called The Dirty published a series of sexually explicit messages and images that an unidentified young woman said she had received from Weiner, including pictures of his penis.
Weiner admitted that the messages were real and said he had continued interacting with women online as recently as last summer, more than a year after his resignation.
On Thursday, he said he had sent lewd online messages to up to three women and had exchanges with six to 10 women over the years.
“I can’t tell you absolutely what someone else is going to consider inappropriate or not,” Weiner said.
Recent polling shows Weiner trailing 9 percentage points behind City Council Speaker Christine Quinn with less than two months left before the Democratic primary.
In the first survey since Weiner admitted the chats had continued after his resignation from Congress, Quinn led with 25 percent among Democrats, while Weiner followed with 16 percent, according to the NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll.
(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson; editing by Christopher Wilson)