Ex-NYC Mayor de Blasio announces plan to run for Congress in newly established district

Progressive stalwart and failed 2020 presidential candidate left office with low approval ratings.

Updated: May 20, 2022 - 3:13pm

Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who left office with low approval ratings in December, announced Friday his intent to run for Congress in a newly established district that stretches from Lower Manhattan to his home in Brooklyn. 

The former mayor, 61, has been publicly exploring a run this week after a draft of a new New York state congressional map was released Monday. De Blasio announced his run Friday morning on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" hours prior to the map's finalization. 

"The polls show people are hurting, they need help, they need help fast, and they need leaders who can actually get them help now and know how to do it," he said. "I do know how to do it from years of serving the people of this city, so today I am declaring my candidacy for Congress."

De Blasio, a progressive with a mixed political track record, enters a potentially crowded Democratic primary with more name recognition than any of his opponents, following eight years in office that included a brief bid for the presidency.

He left his post as mayor last year because of term limits and with his administration battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in high crime, weak economic numbers and backlash over school closures. 

Other Democrats who have expressed interest in the seat include Manhattan progressive state Sen. Brad Hoylman, state Sen. Simcha Felder, whose district includes the Orthodox Jewish community in Borough Park, Brooklyn, and state Assembly members Yuh-Line Niou, Robert Carroll and Jo Anne Simon.

The primary is scheduled to be held on Aug. 23.