Mary Ann Tighe to Quinn: Back off or lose mayoral race

Power player warned council speaker would alienate voters
September 12, 2013 10:09AM

Mary Ann Tighe, the chief executive officer of CBRE Group and one of real estate’s most powerful women, met with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn several weeks before the primary election and cautioned her to tone down her tough persona or risk alienating voters in the mayoral race.

Tighe had the face-to-face with Quinn in July, warning the once front-runner that the qualities that had made her so successful – drive and ambition, for example – could make voters perceive her as unsympathetic, according to the New York Times.

A cabal of high-profile women joined Tighe, including Diana Taylor, the girlfriend of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Some of the women told the newspaper that Quinn dismissed their advice.

“I don’t get up in the morning thinking about how I’ll approach this as a woman or a lesbian; I think about the issues,” Quinn said, an organizer of the session told the Times.

Of particular concern to the group was Quinn’s voice, often thought of as grating. And one of her rivals in the race, billionaire real estate mogul John Catsimatidis, echoed this sentiment to the newspaper.

“Nice lady,” Catsimatidis said, “but if I have to listen to that voice for four years, I’ll die.” [NYT]Hiten Samtani