New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner told reporters Sunday that he didn’t plan to drop out of the race over his online sexual dalliances, despite the weekend resignation of his top campaign staffer.
Weiner campaign manager Danny Kedem, 31, called it quits after days of punishing press for his boss.
“You know, we have an amazing staff, but this isn’t about the people working on the campaign,” Weiner told reporters Sunday after news broke of Kedem’s resignation.
Staff turnover is common for many high-profile political campaigns that hit the rocks, but Weiner’s struggles have stood apart.
Weiner had entered the mayoral race warning that more instances of his past sexual behavior might go public, but he struggled mightily Tuesday when a young woman told a website that she’d received sexual texts from Weiner long after he quit Congress over the same issue in June 2011.
Despite the public support of his wife, Huma Abedin, who addressed reporters alongside her husband when the allegations broke, questions about the extent of Weiner’s extramarital proclivities continued to dog him over the week.
On Thursday, after the young woman came forward, Weiner, 48, was unable to definitively answer exactly how many women he’d digitally flirted with after resigning from Congress. "I don’t believe I had any more than three,” he told reporters.
Sydney Leathers, 23, told “Inside Edition” that she and Weiner began corresponding in July 2012 -- about 13 months after he resigned from Congress.
Weiner has lost not just his campaign manager, but the polling lead that he had held. In the most recent NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll, Weiner’s unfavorability rating among New York Democrats rocketed to 55% after registering just 36% in June.
Weiner now trails Democratic rival and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, 25% to 16%, for the party’s nomination. On Sunday, Quinn didn’t mind a dig at Weiner over the issue, which local media has dubbed “Weinergate.”
“That’s an answer he has to give New Yorkers, but I think clearly we’ve seen a pattern of reckless behavior and an inability to tell the truth,” Quinn told CBS2 in New York.
Also piling on was Republican candidate John Catsimatidis, who was far more blunt when addressing local media Sunday: “It’s over. I think he should just resign or just go away, take care of his family, and move on.”