Scott Stringer, former New York City comptroller and mayoral hopeful, has initiated steps towards a potential mayoral run in 2025.
In a Wednesday, January 17th interview with NY1, Stringer disclosed that he had established an exploratory committee with the city’s Campaign Finance Board, a move that permits fundraising activities in anticipation of a formal candidacy declaration, expected by July.
Citing a need for change in the city’s leadership, Stringer expressed his concerns about the current state of affairs.
“New York City needs a new direction and new leadership. Crime is up, housing is down, education is flat,” he stated, adding, “I think we have an administration that is steering this ship, thrown an iceberg.”
Stringer’s move marks him as the first potential challenger to Mayor Eric Adams to file an exploratory committee ahead of the 2025 elections.
Stringer’s political ambitions were previously thwarted in 2021 when he lost to Adams in the Democratic primary.
His campaign was marred by allegations of sexual assault dating back two decades made by a former campaign volunteer.
These allegations, which Stringer has consistently denied, led to the loss of key endorsers like the Working Families Party.
His journey in the 2021 Democratic primary concluded in the sixth round of ranked-choice voting.
Stringer, 63, has consistently denied these allegations and has initiated a defamation lawsuit against the accuser, Jean Kim, who has also filed a lawsuit against him under the Adult Survivors Act.
“Every New Yorker I’ve met knows that was a political hit job. I think New Yorkers want a person who can restore our city, and I’ll leave it at that,” Stringer told NY Mag.
Stringer, with his seasoned political experience, could pose a serious challenge in the Democratic primary against Adams. The primary, set for June 2025, comes at a time when Adams is facing mounting challenges and historically low approval ratings.
Adams is also facing strained relations with the White House due to his criticism of President Joe Biden’s approach to managing the migrant influx.
Stringer, known for winning tough citywide races and garnering support from major labor unions, has a strong voter base in Manhattan’s West Side.
His ability to be a formidable fundraiser, potentially reaching the public-matching-funds limit, positions him to spend millions in a campaign against Adams.
Stringer was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1992. He served as an assemblyman for 13 years, representing the 67th district, which included Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
His tenure in the Assembly continued until 2005 when he was elected as the Manhattan Borough President.
Stringer was re-elected as Borough President in 2009, defeating his Republican opponent, David Casavis.
Stringer ran for and was elected as the New York City Comptroller in 2013, a role he held until 2021. His opponent was former New York Governor and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.
Stringer expressed confidence in his mayoral bid, emphasizing his belief in his own capabilities and the support he anticipates from New Yorkers.
“I think there’s buyer’s remorse,” he mentioned, indicating a belief in the public’s desire for a change in leadership.
He also made it clear that his decision to consider a run was not influenced by the ongoing federal investigation into Adams’ campaign finances.
Stringer also took the opportunity to criticize Adams’ recent budget proposal and threats of severe cuts to city agencies, arguing that the administration’s approach undermines its credibility.
Drawing on his experience as city comptroller, he believes he has the necessary insight to make tough budgetary decisions.
On tackling the migrant crisis, Stringer hinted at a new strategy, stating, “You can’t love migrants on Monday…then blame them for the fiscal challenges we face.”
Addressing the issue of crime, Stringer emphasized the need for a comprehensive mental health police response, critiquing the current administration’s approach as unsustainable.
Stringer, like Adams, has a strong coalition of outer borough supporters due to his long history of engaging all communities. That blue-collar, working families support cuts into Adams’ coalition, where he has been losing support according to recent polls.