Former NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Announces He’s Not Running for Gov

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Former Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday that he will not run for governor.

The two-term ex-mayor reportedly floated running for the position in October 2021 but announced on Twitter he had canceled those plans. His decision came after a Siena College poll released on Tuesday found that current Gov. Kathy Hochul was ahead of her other Democratic rivals, including New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Rep. Tom Suozzi of Long Island.

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“No, I am not going to be running for the governor in New York state. But I am going to devote every fiber of my being to fight inequality in the state of New York,” de Blasio said.

The Brooklyn resident, who first worked as a political aide for Democratic mayor David Dinkins in the early 1990s, was ​​a polarizing figure during his eight years in office. His exit from the field of candidates is yet another potential Hochul rival to drop out of the race, after New York Attorney General Letitia James announced in December 2021 she would end her campaign for governor.

De Blasio, who unsuccessfully ran for president in 2020, had the support of about 12 percent of Democrats while Hochul holds 46 percent, according to the Siena poll. Williams has the support of about 11 percent of Democrats followed by Suozzi at 6 percent. 

“James is out of the race. Williams and Suozzi are unknown to half of Democrats. A potential opponent, de Blasio, is viewed unfavorably by more Democrats than view him favorably,” Steven Greenberg, a Siena College pollster, said in a statement. “With 22 weeks until the primary, it appears Hochul is in the catbird seat to be the Democratic nominee for governor.”

About 24 percent of those polled by Siena College named another candidate or were unsure, according to Siena. The other candidates who have announced a run for governor include Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino; former mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s son Andrew Giuliani and Rep. Lee Zeldin, a Long Island Republican and supporter of former President Donald Trump.

Celia Young can be reached at cyoung@commercialobserver.com.