Former Mayor Ed Koch has endorsed openly lesbian Christine Quinn's aspirations to succeed New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Politicker NY, a blog of the, reported.

Koch said he decided to back Quinn after New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly declined his calls to enter the race.

“I urged Ray Kelly to run for the last year-and-a-half. He told me he would not. I urged him again, he told me he would not. And when he deiced he would not, I started backing Chris Quinn,” Koch said.

“I believe that she is the best one for New York because I think she'll be in the tradition of being in the center – a center candidate like I was center left,” he added. “I think she'll follow in the tradition of Mike Bloomberg, and of all the candidates, I think she has the most experience and the best philosophy to lead New York in these difficult times.”

The 45-year-old Quinn, a Democrat, currently serves as Speaker of the New York City Council.

Koch, Quinn and Bloomberg lobbied for New York's gay marriage law.