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Mayor Betsy?

Gotbaum’s got big new ambitions.

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Add Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum to the list of people who seem to be maneuvering to run to replace Mike Bloomberg. Last week, Gotbaum hired longtime campaign operative Mark Benoit (he managed Anthony Weiner’s ’05 mayoral bid and worked for Mark Green’s attorney-general run) to serve as deputy public advocate for intergovernmental and community affairs. Gotbaum also recently held a meeting in her office with several political consultants, including strategist-lobbyist Gigi Georges and Spitzer pollster Jefrey Pollock. Gotbaum insists the meeting wasn’t about any ’09 aspirations, but an effort after five years to finally make her office “institutionally significant.” She’s considering hiring outside consultants. “It’s a real dilemma,” she says. “I’m not Mark Green. Bloomberg’s not Giuliani. He’s not changing. Neither am I. So how do you become relevant without constantly fighting? I’m not an attack dog.” Still, she’s up for calling Bloomberg “arrogant” for his handling of the school-bus fiasco. So is she running for mayor? “I’m not ruling it out.”

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