Calvin Butts, a Harlem pastor and head of the Abyssinian Development Corporation, is considering a run for mayor in 2017, when he could face off against fellow real estate executives Don Peebles and Paul Massey.
The 67-year registered Democrat, who also serves as president of SUNY Old Westbury, said he would potentially run as a Republican.
“Political parties aren’t golden calves. I don’t think in terms of Democrats, Republicans. I’m concerned about people,” he told the Post.
Abyssinian reportedly ran into financial trouble last year, and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman investigated the firm over missed tax filings. In March, the company agreed to sell the dilapidated Francis Ennes Houses at 2070 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard to Carthage Real Estate Advisors for $27.8 million, but was promptly sued by the buyer for allegedly adding restrictive conditions to the sale.
Butts placed himself firmly to the left of New York’s progressive mayor on the issue of policing – a bold move for someone toying with the Republican ticket. He chastised de Blasio for not firing the officer responsible for Eric Garner’s death in 2014, claiming that police brutality can’t be “covered over with slick remarks.”
Paul Massey, an executive at Cushman & Wakefield, is considering a run for mayor as a Republican and recently tapped SL Green’s David Amsterdam to run his campaign, according to a report. Don Peebles, head of development firm Peebles Corporation, has also said he is considering a run as a Democrat or independent. [NYP] – Konrad Putzier