She also has taken heat for helping Bloomberg get the council to agree to extend term limits so he could run for a third time in 2008, without asking the voters who had approved a two-term limit twice in the 1990s.
In office, Quinn leads 50 other council members and largely controls what proposals come to a vote. Under her leadership, the council has taken on matters including requiring electronics manufacturers to collect their products for recycling, making it tougher for immigration officials to deport people being released from city jails or police custody and barring employers from discriminating against unemployed job applicants — the last of which Bloomberg vetoed. Quinn has vowed the council will override his veto.
Quinn and her longtime partner, products liability lawyer Kim Catullo, married last year after more than a decade together. Their wedding guest list was a who's-who of New York politics, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Bloomberg and many other officeholders in attendance.
The year before, Quinn had invoked her personal story in lobbying state lawmakers to legalize gay marriage, a cause Cuomo championed. She called it "one of the best feelings I have ever had in my life" when the measure passed in June 2011.
Her announced and likely Democratic opponents include former City Councilman Sal Albanese; Public Advocate Bill de Blasio; Comptroller John Liu; and former Comptroller Bill Thompson.
Republican contenders include former Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joseph Lhota; Tom Allon, a publisher; billionaire businessman John Catsimatidis; and George McDonald, the head of a nonprofit that helps the homeless.
Former Bronx borough president and federal housing official Adolfo Carrion, a former Democrat who is now unaffiliated, is running on the Independence Party line and seeking Republican backing.
Associated Press writer Verena Dobnik contributed to this report. Follow Jennifer Peltz at http://twitter.com/jennpeltz