Former Mayor Bill de Blasio is mulling a run for Congress in New York’s 11th District, according to multiple reports, as lawmakers are set to redraw to expand from Staten Island and southwest Brooklyn to include more liberal neighborhoods.
Just over a month after his departure from City Hall and following his decision not to launch a bid for governor after all, de Blasio has been making calls for a potential Democratic primary challenge for the seat currently held by Republican Nicole Malliotakis, the New York Post and Politico reported.
The state Democrats gerrymandered New York’s 11th District, the only swing district in the Five Boroughs, to include more deep-blue neighborhoods, and both houses of the legislature passed the new maps.
The changes to the political borders across the state come in response to population changes in the 2020 U.S. Census, and the Democratically-controlled Albany Legislature used the process to cement their majority after a bipartisan effort to draw the lines with Republicans failed.
Former congressman Max Rose lost his seat after one term to Malliotakis in 2020, and is vying to reclaim it. Progressive challenger and fellow Staten Islander Brittany Ramos DeBarros has also joined the field from the left.
The seat currently covers Republican-leaning Staten Island and Brooklyn neighborhoods on the other side of the Verrazzano Bridge that have shifted from red to blue in recent years, like Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, and Bath Beach.
The new maps extend the lines into deep-blue precincts like Sunset Park, Park Slope, and Gowanus.
Sunset Park District Leader Julio Peña said he hadn’t gotten the call yet from de Blasio, but said he had heard talk of his run.
“I have heard rumors about it and it’s funny to say the least,” Peña told amNewYork Metro.
De Blasio has been reaching out to supporters, Peña said, adding that “after his administration, I don’t think he has many.”
However, the former mayor could benefit from his name recognition and the new makeup of the district will shift how the Democratic candidates position themselves, the local pol said.
De Blasio officially called off his rumored run for governor last month, but teased a future announcement about his plans to continue to “fight inequality in the state of New York.”
“I’m gonna share some more news with you in the days ahead and let’s keep this fight going because we proved change can happen in New York. Good things ahead,” de Blasio said in a video message on Twitter on Jan. 18.
He also had a go at running for president in 2019, but suspended his campaign after four months.