contender

Former City Veterans’ Commissioner Loree Sutton Eyes 2021 Mayor’s Race

Retired brigadier general Loree Sutton announcing her retirement as Commissioner of the Department of Veterans’ Services, Oct. 3, 2019.
Retired brigadier general Loree Sutton announcing her retirement as Commissioner of the Department of Veterans’ Services, Oct. 3, 2019. Photo: NYC Veterans/Facebook

The former commissioner of the city’s Department of Veterans’ Services, Loree Sutton, has filed a campaign committee to run for mayor with the state Board of Elections, public records show.

Sutton, a retired Army brigadier general, left her post at the helm of the agency on Halloween — several weeks after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced her replacement.

A source said Sutton could make a campaign announcement as early as Friday.

“We’re always glad to hear that talented thoughtful people, particularly veterans, want to run for office,” said Kathy Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, a coalition of businesses.

Sutton was named commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs in August 2014.

The office became its own agency, the Department of Veterans’ Services, in April 2016 — after a concerted push by City Council. Sutton was named its first-ever commissioner at the time.

She has since described her work largely as launching a start-up, with a concerted focus on ending veteran homelessness and boosting mental health services. But the agency’s main role is referring individuals to services elsewhere — a task that it’s been struggling to expand.

Sutton served in the Army for more than 20 years — including eight years as a soldier psychiatrist, according to a City Hall press release at the time of her first appointment.

She served as founding director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury from 2007 to 2010, and has received a Bronze Star Medal and other awards, according to City Hall.

‘Energizer Bunny’

At public events, de Blasio has often enjoyed teasing Sutton about her boundless energy — drawing comparisons between her and the Energizer Bunny.

“I want to eat for breakfast whatever she eats for breakfast because I don’t understand it — but I love it,” he joked at the October 3 announcement of her retirement.

At that event, Sutton addressed her partner, Laurie Leitch — whom she proposed to during the city’s 2015 gay pride parade — about their love for New York City.

“Laurie, this is now our home. We’re not going anywhere,” said Sutton. “We love our city, we love its traditions, its culture, its arts, its quirks, its characters, and its traditions.”

If she runs, Sutton would join declared mayoral candidates Dianne Morales, CEO of Phipps Neighborhoods, and Jocelyn Taylor, CEO of the contracting firm TaylorMade.

Other expected 2021 candidates for mayor include Comptroller Scott Stringer, Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Reached for comment, Sutton said, “I’ll have more to say on this tomorrow.”

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