Ex-NYC mayor Bill de Blasio drops out of crowded House race

July 19, 2022 Karen Matthews and Michelle L. Price, Associated Press
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Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that he is ending his campaign for a U.S. House seat in New York, dropping out after two months by saying it’s clear “people are looking for another option.”

The Democrat was running in a crowded primary for a deep-blue congressional district that includes his Brooklyn home and parts of southern Manhattan.

“I’ve listened really carefully to people and it’s clear to me that when it comes to this congressional district, people are looking for another option. And I respect that,” de Blasio said in a video posted online Tuesday.

His campaign was launched months after his tenure as mayor ended and was the latest attempt by de Blasio to further his national political ambitions.

He considered running for governor of New York but opted not to challenge incumbent Democrat Kathy Hochul. He also had a short-lived run for president in 2019, which lasted two months longer than this year’s congressional campaign.

De Blasio became the city’s first Democratic mayor in two decades when he won election in 2013. His early achievements included expanding public prekindergarten to every 4-year-old in the city and later including more 3-year-olds. He also curtailed the police stop-and-frisk tactic and helped push through a $15 an hour minimum wage.

But by the time his second term ended on Dec. 31, 2021, his tenure was also marked by a series of gaffes, high-profile conflicts and strained relationships with progressives and the city’s police.

The former mayor seemed to acknowledge that in his video announcing he was ending his campaign, saying, “I’ve made mistakes. I want to do better in the future.”

De Blasio also said he wants to keep serving the public: “I’m going to find a different way to serve,” he said.

Recent polling had placed de Blasio near the bottom of the field of 13 Democrats seeking to represent New York’s 10th Congressional District. Other candidates in running in the Aug. 23 primary include U.S. Rep. Mondaire Jones, who currently represents a Hudson Valley seat but decided to make a 2022 campaign further south in the metropolis, along with New York City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman, who last served in Congress in 1981, and Daniel Goldman, the former federal prosecutor who served as counsel to House Democrats in the first impeachment inquiry against former president Donald Trump.

Rep. Jerry Nadler represents New York’s 10th district now but will no longer live in it after redistricting.

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