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NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Announces Presidential Candidacy

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio with his wife and two kids in 2011. (Photo: Bill de Blasio)
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio with his wife and two kids in 2011. (Photo: Bill de Blasio)

“I was the underdog in everything I’ve been near, and I’m not saying that with any hubris. Any time I get in a race, I get in it to win.”

New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio officially announced his 2020 presidential bid Thursday, becoming the 24th person to join the crowded Democratic primary race.

Mr. de Blasio has served as New York City’s Mayor since 2013. The mayor has been praised on the national level for ambitious progressive initiatives like fossil fuel divestment and universal pre-K, but his job approval rating in the city has hovered around 42 to 44 percent. Critics cite ethics issues throughout his long history of involvement in New York politics, and believe he is more focused on building a national profile than effectively running New York City.

According to a Quinnipiac University poll, 76% of New York City residents disapprove of the Mayor’s presidential run. The Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York, a union that represents 50,000 active and retired NYPD officers, condemned Mayor de Blasio’s decision in a statement:

“It is laughable that a mayor who has shown no interest in running New York City for six years now says he wants to mismanage the entire country.

While the mayor of our nation’s largest city is busy running around Iowa and getting upstaged by the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, there are real problems here at home. New York City Police officers are continuing to suffer with wages 30% below market rate because the mayor has totally checked out of our contact process.

After six years of disrespect for the police officers who keep our city safe, it’s perfectly clear how the mayor treats men and women in uniform. As commander-in-chief, he would be an unmitigated disaster.”

President Trump chimed in on the criticism Thursday, tweeting:

“The Dems are getting another beauty to join their group. Bill de Blasio of NYC, considered the worst mayor in the U.S., will supposedly be making an announcement for president today. He is a JOKE, but if you like high taxes & crime, he’s your man. NYC HATES HIM!”

Despite his numerous detractors, the mayor already qualified for the debate stage before announcing his candidacy, according to a Reuters and Ipsos poll.

“The poll that actually matters is the election. Right now, the federal government is not on the side of working people. And that’s because Donald Trump is playing a big con on America,” the mayor said in an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America on Thursday.

New York veteran political operative Hank Sheinkopf told CNBC the question people should ask about de Blasio’s presidential bid isn’t “why,” but “why not?”

“He has nothing to lose, he has potentially lots to win,” said Sheinkopf.

“I was the underdog in everything I’ve been near, and I’m not saying that with any hubris,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told the New York Daily News before announcing his run. “Any time I get in a race, I get in it to win.”

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Peter Castagno

Peter Castagno is a freelance writer with a Master’s degree in International Conflict Resolution. He has traveled throughout the Middle East and Latin America to gain firsthand insight in some of the world’s most troubled areas, and he plans on publishing his first book in 2019.

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