Mayor Bill de Blasio all but declared his run for governor Tuesday, as the lame duck said he wants to remain in public office after he leaves City Hall at the end of this year.
Hizzoner has not officially announced his intentions, but sources told the New York Post that he’s running for the state’s top office next year.
“I do want to continue in public service, I do want to do more for the people of this city and this state,” he told reporters during his daily virtual press briefing on Nov. 2.
De Blasio filed paperwork with the state’s Board of Elections last week to form a committee dubbed “New Yorkers for a Fair Future,” reported Politico, and the mayor said it would be a “vehicle” to talk about issues facing the Empire State.
“I have started a committee that’s going to be a vehicle to talk about the issues that are facing this state and this city and I care about deeply,” he said.
Governor Kathy Hochul is running to keep the seat she assumed after Andrew Cuomo resigned in disgrace in August due to a barrage of sexual harassment allegations against him by 11 women, and State Attorney General Letitia James officially announced her bid for the seat on Friday for the 2022 Democratic primary.
Meanwhile, voters headed to the polls to vote in the city’s elections on Tuesday on who will replace de Blasio, with Democrat Eric Adams the heavy favorite over Republican Curtis Sliwa.
New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who’s expected to be re-elected to the post Tuesday, is also rumored to seek a run for governor in 2022. When amNewYork Metro asked de Blasio what would set him apart in the field of possibly three progressive candidates from the Five Boroughs, de Blasio demurred, saying there’ll be “plenty of time” to make his case to voters.
“There’ll be plenty of time to talk about that and I think you’ve got a situation where a lot of people want to have a really robust debate on the future because we know a lot of things have gone wrong in Albany and we know a lot has to be different. So I look forward to being part of that discussion,” the mayor said.
De Blasio, who also launched an unsuccessful long-shot presidential bid in 2019, touted his two-term administration’s focus on combatting inequality, work he is eager to continue after he hands over the keys to Gracie Mansion to his successor.
“My focus has been — you’ve seen it over the years — addressing inequality, improving our schools, creating more affordable housing, creating a safer a city that’s also a fairer city,” he said. “There’s a lot we gotta do to continue that work and deepen that work.”
The last New York City mayor to mount a run for governor was Ed Koch, who sought the office in 1982 but lost the hotly-contested Democratic primary to the eventual winner, Mario Cuomo — a reversal of the outcome of the mayor’s race five years earlier.
In fact, you’d have to turn the clock back about 150 years — to 1869, with John T. Hoffman — to find the last time a New York City mayor was elected the state’s governor.