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Christine Quinn back in political spotlight: 'Life is good'

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn attends

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn attends the Tie The Knot Spring Collection launch in New York City on Feb. 27, 2013. Credit: Getty Images

Christine Quinn returned to the political spotlight Tuesday for the first time since her last City Council meeting in December, saying, "Life is good."

She led a news conference on the steps of City Hall about the newly formed Women's Equality Party and later said she was doing so at Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's request.

The former City Council speaker and failed Democratic mayoral candidate said she has passed the last several months enjoying time with her wife, Kim Catullo, and resting at the New Jersey shore.

"It feels great to be back. I got to see a bunch of friends I haven't seen in a while," Quinn said. "It's great to be here with such an important issue and to support such great candidates."

City Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Hollis Hills) greeted her mid-news conference with a "Welcome home!"

Quinn said she has stayed busy serving some nonprofit organization boards, joking that she loves "torturing those poor executive directors. I think they all regret having ever asked me to be on the board. . . . Life is good."

Prompted by reporters, she weighed in on recent local political news. She called her successor, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, "brave" for going public with her HPV concerns and added that Mark-Viverito is compelling more women to get screened.

Quinn said she reimbursed taxpayers for political and personal use of her city-issued car and driver when she was in office. She would not say whether she believes Mayor Bill de Blasio should do so. De Blasio has faced criticism for sticking the city with his subway and out-of-town travel bills when he travels for business or with an NYPD-mandated escort.

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