Patrick Gaspard got his first taste of campaign work doing advance for the 1988 presidential campaign of Jesse Jackson, during which time his energy and affinity with local political organizations caught the notice of Harlem-based consultant Bill Lynch, whose office floor Gaspard got in the habit of crashing on. In Lynch's office Gaspard began a friendship with now New York Councilman Bill DeBlasio.
In the 2013 New York mayoralty race there were four significant early Democratic Party candidates.
- It is widely agreed that the politics of the four range from Christine Quinn, toward the right, to Bill DeBlasio, to William Thompson, to John Liu on the left. Council Speaker Quinn's politics are similar to Michael Bloomberg's but still better than any of the non-Democrats. Yet her election would hardly change the direction of the city. While appealing to some because she would be the first woman and first openly gay mayor, her positions on issues go against their interests. She continually slows down and compromises all pro-working families legislation, such as holding up a vote on sick leave. She joins the Republicans in pledging to reappoint Ray Kelly as police commissioner, despite his stop-and-frisk policy. She has strong real estate developer financing.