Quinn Takes a Break From Candidate Forums

As the campaign for mayor of New York City intensifies, it is not unusual for the Democratic candidates to sit side-by-side many times a week, often fielding identical questions over and over again all around the five boroughs.

But the pattern appears to have finally broken: Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker, is having a forum-free week.

Ms. Quinn, the front-runner in the Democratic primary, missed a forum sponsored by a young professionals group on Wednesday evening, and said she could not attend an education-focused discussion on Thursday night. So she will not be appearing alongside her rivals until next week at the earliest.

“I’ve been to about somewhere between 30 or 40 forums already; we’ve already committed to about a dozen more in the weeks ahead,” Ms. Quinn said at a news conference on Thursday. “Unfortunately, sometimes, the schedule precludes you from being everywhere and at every event.”

The Quinn team cited prior commitments in both cases, noting that the campaign trail could get hectic. Aides said Ms. Quinn had committed to several candidate events over the next few weeks.

Recently, the forums have turned into a regular opportunity for Ms. Quinn’s rivals, whose poll numbers have barely budged in months, to aggressively attack her. A hostile crowd at a forum on housing matters booed Ms. Quinn so loudly that the moderator had to ask for quiet so she could reply to the questions.

The forum Ms. Quinn is to miss on Thursday is hosted by Diane Ravitch, an influential education expert, who has been critical of the Bloomberg administration’s approach to New York City’s public schools.

Ms. Quinn is also planning to skip an event on Monday focused on animal rights; that forum is being organized by a group that has invested in negative ads attacking her.

Ms. Quinn attended an event on Monday for a Greenwich Village political club, but the format did not require the candidates to sit on a panel with one another. Ms. Quinn also attended an event on Saturday at the Cooper Union, which two of her rivals, Bill de Blasio, the public advocate, and William C. Thompson Jr., a former city comptroller, did not attend.

Ms. Quinn’s campaign will begin its door-to-door canvassing operation this weekend, a more direct way to solicit support than the forums, which are often attended primarily by journalists and local activists. And on Thursday, her campaign released a smartphone application that will alert users to Ms. Quinn’s policy ideas as she releases them.

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