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Weiner determined to finish scandal-plagued race

Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner speaks at a campaign

Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner speaks at a campaign event at Brownsville Baptist Church in Brooklyn. (July 28, 2013) Credit: CS Muncy

New York City mayoral candidate and former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, amid calls to resign, said Sunday morning he is prepared to go the distance in his scandal-rocked campaign.

"This is about a campaign to see who is going to lead this city," Weiner said Sunday outside a Brooklyn church. "I think this campaign has shown that I am prepared to do it and I am going to do it for the next 44 days."

Weiner also confirmed Sunday morning that his campaign manager, Danny Kedem, had quit, but declined to give a reason. "Danny left the campaign. He did a remarkable job. We have an excellent staff. More people have come on frankly," he said during a campaign stop outside Brownsville Community Baptist Church, 600 Mother Gaston Blvd., in Brooklyn.

When asked with whom he has replaced Kedem, Weiner said, "We haven't made announcements about people we're hiring; we're not making announcements about people that leave."

Weiner resumed campaigning at the church Sunday after taking a respite Saturday from public appearances -- and unending media questions about his admitted relapse into sexting cyber-affairs with three women -- to make a campaign ad to try to steady his scandal-rocked mayoral campaign. Meanwhile, his rivals barnstormed the outer boroughs looking to pick off his disaffected would-be supporters.

Weiner, whose behavior forced him to resign from Congress in June 2011, was upbraided last week by a former schoolteacher on Staten Island who told him he lacked the "moral authority" to be New York City's 109th mayor.

Despite calls, some from fellow Democrats, to resign, Weiner said is determined to finish the race.

"No campaign is ever easy," he replied, when asked whether he was concerned about people in his campaign worried about his mayoral run. "When you want this tough job you've got to be prepared to show you're tough during the campaign as well . . . campaigns have ups and downs."

An NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll last week showed Weiner falling from the front of the pack to 9 percentage points behind City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, with former Comptroller Bill Thompson and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who has called for Weiner to quit the race, close behind.

The top two finishers in the Sept. 10 Democratic primary make the runoff if no candidate reaches 40 percent.

Last week, Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, defended him in the latest sexting scandal, saying she loves and has forgiven him.

When asked what he would say to people who have criticized his wife, he said, "Look, I'm the candidate in this campaign . . . . People are more interested in hearing solutions to their problems than hearing about things in my background and we'll see if that's the case."

He continued: "When I joined this campaign, Huma and I did it as a family. We knew this was going to be a tough campaign." And, "we knew, as I think I said the very first day of the campaign, I said there were things in my past that may come back and it might be hard for us to get our message out," he said.

"But every day we kept on doing exactly what we said we were going to do: talk about issues important to the middle class and those struggling to make it," he said. "We had exactly these same questions when I got in and exactly these same answers. There are things in my background that may come up and they may be distractions, but they're not going to be distractions for long."

Meanwhile, Weiner's opponents continued campaigning over the weekend, with Thompson going to the Old Timers Day festival in Brownsville, Brooklyn, on Saturday and Quinn stopping by a picnic for people with developmental disabilities at Cunningham Park in Bayside, Queens.

Despite eroding support, Weiner has the cash to hang on and hope for a rebound -- more than $4.8 million in his mid-July campaign finance report.

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