NEW YORK (AP) — Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner stole the show Sunday at New York's Dominican Day Parade, sprinting and dancing his way up a Manhattan avenue with thousands cheering him on.
It was a spectacle executed in bright red pants, with a bullhorn and a giant Dominican flag.
The embattled Democrat who had resigned his congressional seat over a "sexting" scandal drove the crowd into a frenzy, zig-zagging from one side of the avenue to the other and waving a flag bigger than theirs over their heads.
"Que viva la Republica Dominicana!" the energized 48-year-old yelled into a bullhorn of red-and-white colors that matched his attire.
"Weiner!" spectators yelled back, some grabbing his bullhorn to be heard louder.
The 32nd annual Dominican Day Parade that delivered ear-blasting, thumping music, merengue dancing and the mayoral candidates stretched over 15 blocks of Sixth Avenue from 37th Street to 52nd Street and lasted most of the afternoon.
Weiner first appeared at the tail end of the parade, with other Democratic mayoral candidates preceding him, including front-runner Christine Quinn, Bill Thompson, Bill de Blasio and John Liu.
The politicians are all seeking the city's significant vote from Hispanic residents, who represent nearly 30 percent of New York's population.
Quinn was another crowd favorite. Each time the City Council speaker made a bee line for the sidelines, she was smothered in hugs and cheers.
Another sex-scandal embattled politician also showed up. Eliot Spitzer, running for city comptroller, walked with supporters behind a giant banner with his name in large block letters. He also drew cheers, but more muted than Weiner's or Quinn's.
If there were any anti-Weiner spectators, they weren't making their sentiments known to the crowd.
At the end of the parade, the optimistic candidate told reporters who had scurried to keep pace, "I'm worried for you, guys. We've got four more years of parades."
But he himself took a moment to catch his breath two-thirds of the way into the parade. Weiner stood quietly in the middle of the avenue, taking a few deep breaths and eyeing the crowd, his smile gone. Then he quickly resumed his bullhorned declarations.
Leading the march was outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose third term is up in January. The primary is Sept. 10. The general election is Nov. 5.