New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has begun testing the waters for a potential run for governor, following the resignation of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, sources told Politico on Thursday.
The mayor is reportedly calling labor leaders and other allies in an effort to gauge support ahead of next year’s Democratic primary.
"He’s letting the leaders know that he’s considering running for governor," said one unnamed labor union affiliate, who spoke to Politico under the condition of anonymity.
When asked about the character of these talks, the source said that de Blasio is "just asking friends to hold off on making a decision" about endorsing a candidate until he decides on whether or not to make a bid.
He added that de Blasio’s call "was just to let them know that he’s seriously considering running with the explicit purpose of trying to head off any momentum" for Attorney General Tish James and Gov. Kathy Hochul.
Multiple current and former aides to the mayor confirmed that he is looking to stay in politics after he leaves office in four months due to term limits, but some questioned if de Blasio could find enough support to compete with James, who could win over his base if she were to run.
"I’ve been of the opinion that Tish ultimately wouldn’t challenge Hochul, but lots of chatter yesterday and today that she’s seriously exploring a run," Democrat consultant Neal Kwatra, who has previously worked for de Blasio at times, tweeted on Tuesday. "Gonna be a fascinating Fall in NY politics. If Tish runs, there is literally no lane for [de Blasio] either. [Rep. Tom] Suozzi still in mix too."
When asked by Politico, de Blasio’s longtime friend and adviser Peter Ragone did not confirm or rule out a run for governor.
"Whenever we talk, the mayor’s focus is always on fighting Covid and [the city’s] recovery," Ragone said. "He’s an elected leader who proved he can accomplish big things like getting 70,000 children into universal pre-kindergarten. I think anyone with that kind of record and commitment to public service should consider other options to contribute, whatever form that takes."
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