Former NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Returns To Politics With Run For Congress

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Bill de Blasio
Bill de Blasio

Former New York City Mayor is ready to throw his hat back into the ring by running for a seat in the U.S. Congress.

On Friday, de Blasio announced that he is launching a bid for a seat in Congress that was left vacant under a newly redistricted congressional map of New York state. After less than a year out of office, de Blasio made clear that his gusto for public service has hardly waned. 

"Wherever I go, people ask: can things get better? I say from my heart: YES, but WE have to make them better," de Blasio tweeted in announcing his run. "In our neighborhoods and our nation, the way to save our democracy is to be part of it."

For de Blasio, who served two terms as mayor from 2013 to 2021 and before that as New York City’s Public Advocate, a run for Congress is an opportunity to continue pursuing his brand of progressive politics at a time when his city has become a bastion for progressive politics. 

During his first run for mayor, de Blasio campaigned as an unabashed progressive who sought to end what he said was New York’s “tale of two cities” by making a concerted effort to tackle inequality. In his eight years in power, de Blasio managed to secure universal pre-K for the city and presided over the COVID-19 pandemic response that ground New York City to a halt.

However, de Blasio’s tenure was marred by his bitter battles with the New York City Police Department, former Governor Andrew Cuomo and allegations of corruption against his administration. He was also a frequent target for ridicule by the city’s press corps and was described as an overbearing micromanager by several former aides. 

De Blasio ran briefly for president in 2020 and flirted with a run for governor against acting-Gov. Kathy Hochul, but neither bid materialized. The newly formed 10th district will include many of his former constituients, including Lower Manhattan and parts of Brownstone Brooklyn and Borough Park.

While several members of the New York City political class welcomed de Blasio’s bid for Congress, others were quick to come out against him. On Friday, the New York Post editorial board mocked the mayor’s run, pointing to rises in homelessness and crime in the latter part of his tenure as reasons  to disqualify him. 

"Progressives hate de Blasio for his persistent incompetence; everyone else, for his ideas. All despise his venality. Everyone in the 10th District should savor the chance to vote against him," read the editorial.

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