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NYC Mayor de Blasio is seeking Democratic nod for president

AP  |  New York City 

City announced Thursday that he will seek the Democratic nomination for president, adding his name to an already long list of candidates itching for a chance to take on

The announced his run with a video released by his campaign.

"There's plenty of money in this world. There's plenty of money in this country. It's just in the wrong hands," de says at the beginning of the video.

He concludes: "I'm running for because it's time we put working people first." In announcing his candidacy, de seeks to claim a role on the national stage that has eluded him as of the biggest U.S. city.

When he took office in 2014, de Blasio seemed briefly poised to become a leading voice for an emerging left wing of the

But liberal enthusiasm faded over his first term, partly because of political missteps at home and the emergence of bigger names elsewhere. He could face obstacles trying to distinguish himself in a crowded field.

De Blasio, 58, has drawn small audiences so far in visits to early primary states including Iowa, South Carolina, and New Hampshire, where an audience of six showed up for a mental health discussion.

A recent poll found 76% of City voters say they believe he shouldn't run.

De Blasio's hometown press has, so far, delighted in disparaging his presidential hopes.

"De Blasio for 'Nah,'" read one recent Times headline summing up the city's reaction to his possible candidacy.

"Who hasn't told that he shouldn't run for " asked De Blasio, though, has remained undaunted by the obstacles and said he believes he has a message that can resonate with the American public.

Political observers said that even if de Blasio's candidacy doesn't catch fire, he'll be able to promote his policies and potentially angle for a job in a future He is barred by term limits from running for mayor again.

"If he ran a strong and credible campaign, it could enhance his stature for gaining a major appointment or becoming a significant player, particularly if a Democrat is elected president," said Michael Malbin, a at the University at Albany.

But Matthew Dallek, an at George Washington University, said a losing campaign wouldn't come without risks.

"If his legacy is that a crisis happened and he was off campaigning in Iowa, that's significant," Dallek said. "So yeah, there are risks." On the campaign trail, de Blasio will be able to cite accomplishments like expanding full-day prekindergarten and curtailing police tactics that critics said were discriminatory, while presiding over continued drops in violent crime.

His central message remains fighting income inequality.

De Blasio was born Jr. in 1961 but took his mother's family name in adulthood because, he said, his father was "largely absent from his life." The mayor has spoken about how his father, Warren Wilhelm, a veteran who lost part of his left leg in World War II, descended into and killed himself when de Blasio was 18.

Born in New York City, de Blasio grew up in the area and has provoked New York sports fans by rooting ardently for the Red Sox. He graduated from and earned a master's degree from

De Blasio met his wife, Chirlane McCray, when they both worked for They married in 1994 and have two children, and

De Blasio was elected to a in his Brooklyn neighborhood in 1999 and won a seat in 2001. In 2009, he was elected to the citywide position of public advocate, a job that holds little real power but comes with a bully pulpit that allowed de Blasio to build a reputation as a champion of regular citizens in a city built for the powerful.

He was not initially favored to win the 2013 race for the Democratic nomination for mayor but was helped by the implosion of rival Anthony Weiner's campaign after the disgraced former was accused in a new sexting scandal.

De Blasio defeated Republican by a wide margin in the 2013 for mayor. He won reelection in 2017, defeating Republican state Assemblywoman by 39 percentage points.

With his candidacy, de Blasio becomes the latest in a line of mayors who have run for president. None has ever won.

sought the office in 1972. ran in 2008. Michael Bloomberg flirted with a run for years before ruling it out in both the 2016 and 2020 campaigns.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 16 2019. 17:26 IST
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