New York Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioNew York City Council expected to vote on measure to give noncitizens voting rights The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - New vaccine mandate in NYC; Biden-Putin showdown Overnight Health Care — Biden touts drug price push MORE (D) is reportedly telling people in private that he plans to run for governor next year.
The New York Times reported, citing three people with direct knowledge of de Blasio’s conversations with Democrats and donors, that the mayor has started telling people behind closed doors that he is planning to challenge Gov. Kathy HochulKathy HochulNew York mayor announces vaccine mandate for private-sector employers These are the states where the omicron variant has been identified Omicron coronavirus variant found in at least 10 states MORE (D).
De Blasio, who has served as mayor of New York since 2014, is ineligible for reelection because of term limits.
He has reached out to former aides to inquire about their interest in joining a prospective gubernatorial campaign, two people familiar with the contacts told the Times. In addition, he has reportedly contacted labor leaders to discuss a potential campaign.
The Times previously reported that de Blasio’s longtime pollster, Anna Greenberg, recently put a survey in the field to gauge opinion on the mayor among individuals outside the city.
When asked during a media availability last week if New York needs another white male governor, de Blasio noted the work he has done on battling the pandemic before adding, “I want to keep serving, I want to stay involved in public life.”
“There's a number of things I want to keep working on in this city, in this state. So, that is going to be what I focus on when this mission is over,” de Blasio said.
“So, I want to serve. I'm going to figure out the right way to serve and the right time to serve. That's what's running through my mind. And I think as with all things, we need people who are committed to real change, and we need people of all backgrounds to be involved in government,” he added.
The mayor, however, will likely face an uphill battle if he does decide to throw his hat in the ring. The Times noted that his approval ratings in the city have generally been low, though polling on the topic is limited. He also had a difficult time picking up support in his unsuccessful 2020 presidential run.
Additionally, if de Blasio decides to wage a bid for New York’s top office, he will likely face a crowded field of formidable democratic candidates vying to fill the seat recently vacated by Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoHere's who should (and should not) replace Chris Cuomo at CNN The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - New vaccine mandate in NYC; Biden-Putin showdown Batya Ungar-Sargon discusses Cuomo brothers' delayed downfall MORE (D) after the state attorney general found that he sexually harassed eleven women.
Hochul, Cuomo’s lieutenant governor who was installed following his resignation, has already said she will run for a full term next year. New York Attorney General Letitia James (D), who led the report that resulted in Cuomo stepping down, is reportedly holding private talks about running for governor.
Additionally, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams is looking into a gubernatorial campaign, according to the Times.
The Hill has reached out to de Blasio for comment.