Outgoing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is gauging support from the state’s Democrats for a potential gubernatorial run next year, Politico reports.
De Blasio, whose final term expires in January, has called up allies about a possible run for governor next June.
De Blasio has spoken with labor leaders about a possible bid.
“He’s letting the leaders know that he’s considering running for governor,” a source told Politico. “He’s just asking friends to hold off on making a decision” about endorsements.
“It was just to let them know that he’s seriously considering running with the explicit purpose of trying to head off any momentum” for New York Attorney General Letitia James and Gov. Kathy Hochul, who assumed office after former Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned last month.
De Blasio, a career politician who previously served as the city’s public advocate, wants to stay in politics, his allies say. He mounted an unsuccessful run for president in 2020.
De Blasio deploys poll:
Along with feeling out allies, De Blasio’s longtime pollster has launched a poll to gauge his popularity outside of the city.
A recent poll from Data for Progress showed de Blasio tied for second place with Hochul while James led with 26% and about 25% were undecided.
Some allies have urged him to run.
“Whenever we talk, the mayor’s focus is always on fighting Covid and [the city’s] recovery,” Peter Ragone, a longtime friend and adviser, told Politico. “He’s an elected leader who proved he can accomplish big things like getting 70,000 children into universal pre-kindergarten. I think anyone with that kind of record and commitment to public service should consider other options to contribute, whatever form that takes.”
Can he win the state?:
De Blasio, who remains popular overall in New York City, has had a tumultuous eight years in office, most recently feuding with Cuomo over the pandemic response and the governor’s many scandals. He has long been a foe of the city’s wealthy residents, developers, and police supporters but his pandemic response and actions have also soured residents in areas that made up his base of support, like Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Though de Blasio received strong support from Black voters during his run, it may not be enough if he goes up against James, who is Black.
“I’ve been of the opinion that Tish ultimately wouldn’t challenge Hochul, but lots of chatter yesterday and today that she’s seriously exploring a run,” Democratic consultant Neal Kwatra said. “Gonna be a fascinating Fall in NY politics. If Tish runs, there is literally no lane for [de Blasio] either. [Rep. Tom] Suozzi still in mix too.”
Another Democratic operative told Politico that “He’s in the worst spot possible where the left thinks he’s pro-cop and the cops think he’s a Sandanista.”