After a closed-door meeting with advisers last night, second-place mayoral candidate Bill Thompson announced that he would not drop out of the race until all the votes were counted. The Board of Elections in the midst of a recanvass of the voting machine results from Tuesday's primary, and as of yesterday some 70,000 emergency, absentee and affidavit ballots had not been counted. Many of them were from predominantly black neighborhoods where Thompson’s support is strongest.

"It continues to become clearer and clearer that there are tens of thousands of votes that are out there," Thompson told the Daily News last night. "We believe that the votes should be counted. The first step in that is the machine canvass on Friday and Saturday. And then we'll go from there."

Thompson has until midnight tonight to withdraw from the race and avoid automatically participating in a runoff against Bill de Blasio—should de Blasio fall under 40%. The Board of Elections does not officially announce results until the count is complete, but the AP Vote Count currently puts de Blasio at 40.3% and Thompson at 26.2%.

The Board of Elections begins an official count this morning, and it's expected to take at least several days. Thompson's decision to stay in the race means that by the time the official count is complete, it will be too late to get his name off of a run-off ballot with de Blasio if it comes to that. Some Democratic leaders are urging Thompson to drop out before midnight and spare the party a potentially weakening battle before the general election.

And many of the local unions held a rally to throw their support behind de Blasio yesterday. One union leader asked, "If Billy couldn’t even beat de Blasio among black voters, where will he draw additional votes from?”

But Thompson allies argue that he should not be pressured to drop out before all the votes are counted. "All we need is to find out where the votes are,” Congressmen Charlie Rangel told Politcker. “I mean, we’re not talking about unification, we’re talking about counting the votes." One Thompson strategist added, "This is about mathematics, not emotion." But perhaps City Councilman Lew Fidler put it best when he told the News, "I think they oughta grow a pair and stay still."