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Political Notebook

Bill de Blasio and wife say they are separating

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, arrived for the official dedication ceremony of the Statue of Liberty Museum on Liberty Island in 2019.Craig Ruttle/Associated Press

NEW YORK — Former New York mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, are separating but not divorcing after 29 years of a marriage that helped lift de Blasio into the mayor’s job.

McCray, 68, confirmed the separation in a text to the Associated Press after The New York Times published a story in which she and De Blasio, 62, said they will continue to share the same Brooklyn townhouse while dating other people.

They arrived together at the realization that the spark had gone out of their relationship, they told the newspaper in a joint interview.

“You can’t fake it,” McCray said.


“You can feel when things are off,” de Blasio said, “and you don’t want to live that way.”

McCray said the pair spoke to the Times in an effort to head off gossip.

“As very public people embarking on a new chapter, we thought it better to say all this openly before anyone tries to find negativity, or before any misunderstandings occur,” she told the AP.

McCray said she and de Blasio “have only respect and admiration for each other, and the sense of wonder that we ever found each other to begin with.”

De Blasio did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

De Blasio, at the time the city’s public advocate, entered the 2013 Democratic mayoral primary race as an underdog but came out on top, thanks partly to the sexting scandal that doomed former US representative Anthony Weiner’s campaign. De Blasio went on to serve two terms as mayor and was succeeded by fellow Democrat Eric Adams.

De Blasio, who is white, and McCray, who is Black, met in the early 1990s while both were working for New York City’s first Black mayor, Democrat David Dinkins.

Their interracial family helped boost de Blasio’s 2013 campaign, particularly after their teenage son, Dante de Blasio, starred in a TV ad promising that his father would end policies of billionaire three-term Mayor Mike Bloomberg like stop-and-frisk policing.


McCray was often by de Blasio’s side during his two terms as mayor and was put in charge of a mental health initiative called ThriveNYC that was criticized for its $1 billion price tag and dearth of quantifiable results.

Associated Press

Secret Service investigate cocaine found in White House

WASHINGTON — President Biden has been briefed on the investigation into the discovery of cocaine on the lobby floor of the White House West Wing, and thinks it is “incredibly important” for the Secret Service to determine how it got there, officials said Wednesday.

Secret Service agents found the powder during a routine White House sweep on Sunday, in a small, clear plastic bag on the ground in a heavily trafficked area, according to three people, who were not authorized to speak about an ongoing investigation and spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Biden was at Camp David with members of his family for the holiday weekend when the powder was discovered and the complex was briefly evacuated as a precaution. The fire department was called in to test the substance to determine it was not hazardous, and the initial test came back positive for cocaine. A secondary, more sensitive lab analysis confirmed the results.

Investigators have not yet identified who brought the drugs into the White House. The Secret Service, which is responsible for securing the White House, was combing through visitor logs and security footage.


The lobby where the drugs were found is where many official visitors and staffers enter. It is also open to staff-led tours of the West Wing, which are scheduled for nonworking hours on the weekends and evenings. Those tours are invitation-only and led by White House staff for friends, family, and other guests. Most staffers who work on the complex can request an evening or weekend tour slot, but there is often a long wait list.

If a White House employee brought in the drugs, it would be easier to determine, because staff are fingerprinted and subjected to drug tests. A visitor would be harder to pin down; there were tours on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday last week.

Associated Press

Man wrongly convicted as youth wins New York primary

NEW YORK — Yusef Salaam, one of the exonerated “Central Park Five,” has won a Democratic primary for a seat on the New York City Council, all but assuring him of eventual victory. It’s an improbable feat for a political novice who was wrongly accused, convicted, and imprisoned as a teenager for the rape and beating of a white jogger in Central Park.

The Associated Press refrained from calling the race to represent Central Harlem on election night, but vote tallies released Wednesday showed him to be the clear winner.

“To have a voice from a person who’s been pushed into the margins of life — someone who has actually been one of those who has been counted out — is finally having a seat at the table,” Salaam said in an interview Wednesday.


It was time, he said, for “a new Harlem renaissance.”

“Harlem is such a special place that it is known as the Black Mecca,” he said. What happens in Harlem “reverberates around the world.”

Salaam and the four other Black and Latino teens from Harlem became known as the Central Park Five after their arrest in 1989 in the headline-grabbing rape, one of the city’s most notorious and racially fraught crimes. He served nearly seven years in prison before the group was exonerated through DNA evidence.

Associated Press

Lawyer who fought election results retires amid disciplinary proceedings

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Attorney Lin Wood, who filed legal challenges seeking to overturn Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss, is relinquishing his law license, electing to retire from practicing rather than face possible disbarment. Multiple states have weighed disciplining him for pushing Trump’s false claims that he defeated Joe Biden.

On Tuesday, Wood asked officials in his home state of Georgia to “retire” his law license in light of “disciplinary proceedings pending against me.” In the request, made in a letter and posted on his Telegram account, Wood acknowledges that he is “prohibited from practicing law in this State and in any other state or jurisdiction and that I may not reapply for admission.”

Wood, a licensed attorney in Georgia since 1977, did not immediately respond to an e-mail Wednesday seeking comment on the letter. A listing on the website for the State Bar of Georgia accessed on Wednesday showed him as retired and with no disciplinary infractions on his record.


In the wake of the 2020 election, Trump praised Wood as doing a “good job” filing legal challenges seeking to overturn his loss, though Trump’s campaign at times distanced itself from him. Dozens of lawsuits making such allegations were rejected by the courts across the country.

Officials in Georgia had been weighing whether to disbar Wood over his efforts, holding a disciplinary trial earlier this year. Wood sued the state bar in 2022, claiming the bar’s request that he undergo a mental health evaluation as part of its probe violated his constitutional rights, but a federal appeals court tossed that ruling, saying Wood failed to show there was “bad faith” behind the request.

Associated Press