Campaign For NY Congressional District:
Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday, May 20th, that he will be running for Congress. De Blasio will be running in the newly redrawn 10th district that is partially made up of Manhattan and Brooklyn. The former mayor is familiar with the territory as that is where his home resides. During an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, he said, “People are hurting, they need help, they need help fast, and they need leaders who can actually get them help now. I do know how to do it from years of serving the people of this city and so today I am declaring my candidacy for the 10th Congressional District of New York.”
De Blasio spent two terms, a total of eight years, as mayor of New York City. He left office with a poor approval rating as a progressive who had seen his fair share of successes and failures. After leaving office, de Blasio has shown an eagerness to remain active in politics. There was speculation that he would run for governor as well as in a different district. The redrawing of the district maps afforded de Blasio to run in the new 10th district. “This is a unicorn: a brand-new congressional seat that no one has ever seen before that has no incumbent,” de Blasio said in an interview.
De Blasio will likely be the most recognizable person to participate in the Democratic Primary for the 10th district. Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, the chairwoman of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, said that Mr. de Blasio was “the most qualified progressive candidate who I believe can win this diverse seat.” While this statement initially seemed like an endorsement, Bichotte’s spokesperson later clarified that it was not.
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Mayor Eric Adams gave a neutral response when referring to de Blasio’s ambitions. “Everyone should have an opportunity to present their case in front of the people,” he said during an interview on WPIX. “The people make the decision on who’s going to represent them in Washington.”
De Blasio became mayor with support from Black voters, liberal White voters, and the Orthodox Jewish community. He left office with his approval rating waning, which may be a cause of concern with regard to the 10th district electorate. The black population in the district is only 6%. De Blasio had lost support from the white voters and support in the Jewish community had seemingly waned in his final months in office.
Chris Coffey, the chief executive of Tusk Strategies and a resident in the district, said, “I just can’t identify who’s going to vote for him.”
“There would have to be some pretty miserable alternatives for me to go with him,” said Barat Ellman, a progressive rabbi. She claims that she grew skeptical of de Blasio’s policing and criminal justice policies.
It will not be a breezy process for the former mayor. He will be but one candidate in a primary involving many other candidates. According to sources, de Blasio has already begun walking the streets of the 10th district, seeking the support of the people. A message on his new website seems fitting: “The only way to save our democracy is to be a part of it. That is why I am running for Congress in New York’s new 10th Congressional District. But I cannot do this alone. Please join me.”