Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announces run for Congress

The Democrat, who made a failed presidential bid in 2020, confirmed he is joining the race for the newly-drawn 10th congressional district of New York

Rachel Sharp
Friday 20 May 2022 18:22 BST
Bill de Blasio announces run for Congress in newly-drawn New York district
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Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has officially announced that he is running for Congress, saying that his “years of serving the people of this city” make him the right candidate for the job.

The Democrat, whose term as mayor came to an end back on 1 January, confirmed he is joining the race for the newly-drawn 10th congressional district of New York on Friday morning.

“Polls show people are hurting, they need help, they need help fast, they need leaders that can actually get them help now,” he said in an interview on MSNBC.

“I know how to do it from years of serving the people of this city.

“So today I’m declaring my candidacy for Congress in the 10th congressional district in New York.”

Following his announcement, the 61-year-old confirmed the news on his Twitter page, sharing a link to his newly-created campaign website.

“Wherever I go, people ask: can things get better?” he tweeted.

“I say from my heart: YES, but WE have to make them better.

“In our neighborhoods and our nation, the way to save our democracy is to be part of it. So as I declare my candidacy in #NY10 I ask you to join us.”

The 10th congressional district stretches across parts of the two New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Under a new redistricting plan, released as a draft on Monday, the district will cover Lower Manhattan – where Mr de Blasio lives – brownstone Brooklyn and Borough Park in Brooklyn.

The seat is currently open after the district’s current Rep Jerry Nadler announced he will instead run for the 12th District, after the newly-drawn maps mean that his upper West Side home now falls in that district.

With no incumbent to beat, several other Democrats including progressive State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou are also said to be eyeing the 10th congressional district seat.

The primary is scheduled for 23 August.

Mr de Blasio’s latest ambitions come after a failed bid for the White House in 2020 and after he toyed with the idea of running for New York governor earlier this year.

In January, he left the mayoral office with low approval ratings following a rise in crime across New York City.

Mr de Blasio spent much of his eight years as mayor sparring with former Governor Andrew Cuomo, before the latter resigned amid a string of sexual harassment allegations.

The two men had once been close friends but repeatedly locked horns when Mr de Blasio became mayor in 2014.

During the pandemic, the two men were often embroiled in a power struggle over decisions around Covid-19 precautions.

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