“I think it’s important to realize that Brian is talented, and he is also Black,” Mr. Blake said.
“People are always paying attention to talent even when there is no success,” Mr. Blake added. “He ran for city comptroller — I think he was the most qualified — and lost, but at the end of the day, God had bigger plans for him.”
The competitive Democratic primary for comptroller included Corey Johnson, the speaker of the City Council, and Councilman Brad Lander, who emerged victorious as the standard-bearer of the party’s left flank. Mr. Benjamin finished fourth, behind Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, a former CNBC anchor.
During the primary, Mr. Benjamin’s campaign relinquished nearly two dozen donations after The City raised questions about their authenticity.
Mr. Benjamin’s poor showing in the primary could raise questions about how many votes from New York City he could help Ms. Hochul attract as a running mate, especially if the governor faces a primary challenge from a person of color.
Jumaane Williams, the city’s public advocate, has said he is actively exploring a run for governor and Letitia James, the state attorney general, is considered a strong candidate, although she has given no indication that she intends to run.
“Brian did not have a successful run citywide, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have a successful run statewide,” said Christina Greer, an associate professor of political science at Fordham University. “He has a financial background and could galvanize Black voters. He would translate well upstate.”
Mr. Benjamin is a close friend of Keith L.T. Wright, the chairman of the Democratic Party in Manhattan, who backed Mr. Benjamin’s Senate candidacy. On Wednesday, Mr. Wright praised Ms. Hochul’s choice.