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Date TimeMay 16, 2019
VoiceNew York mayor, who traveled to early primary states such as Iowa, says he is running ‘because it’s time we put working people first’
Bill de Blasio announces 2020 presidential bid
New York’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, has jumped into the 2020 presidential race, joining at least 21 other declared Democratic candidates for the party’s nomination.
The mayor 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 Blasio says at the beginning of the video. He concludes: “I’m running for president because it’s time we put working people first.”
De Blasio has traveled to early primary states including Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, and formed a federal political action committee (Pac) called Fairness Pac to bankroll his travels.
His message on those travels has centered on economic inequality.
De Blasio has sought for years to position himself as a national progressive leader, after racking up accomplishments in his first few years in office including universal pre-kindergarten, paid sick days and living wage legislation and a city ID card available to undocumented immigrants.
But frustrations have built over New York’s crumbling public housing system, where hundreds of children got lead poisoning after officials lied about doing inspections, and stubbornly high homelessness.
De Blasio has also been the target of multiple ethics inquiries, where no criminal charges were brought, but prosecutors found he made inquiries on behalf of political donors seeking favors.
Polls have shown a vast majority of New Yorkers – 76% – don’t think he should run for president, and his aspirations have been widely mocked in his home town and discouraged by his own allies.
“I’m glad I’ve unified the people of New York City,” he quipped when asked about the lack of enthusiasm in the polls.
De Blasio has been criticized for leaving the city to explore a presidential run in early voting states, and that criticism will probably grow as he travels more for official campaign stops. This week, he is scheduled to campaign in Iowa and South Carolina before traveling to Connecticut for his son’s graduation on Sunday.
Political observers said that even if De Blasio’s candidacy doesn’t gain traction, he will be able to promote his policies and potentially angle for a job in a future Democratic administration. He is barred by term limits from running for mayor again.
De Blasio’s Pac has been polling voters in Iowa. He said last week in an appearance on WNYC radio that he has not yet hit the polling or donation thresholds to qualify for the Democratic primary debates.
The previous New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg, decided not to run for president after months of flirting with a bid as a Democrat, opting instead to pour his considerable wealth into the resistance to Donald Trump. Though, since then at least one news report has said Bloomberg was reconsidering his position.
In the video announcing his bid, the mayor touted his work pushing a progressive agenda in New York City before arguing that he is the candidate who can defeat the president.
“I’m a New Yorker, I’ve known Trump is a bully for a long time,” De Blasio said.
Under De Blasio, New York City has challenged Trump immigration policies, including family separation, in court and maintained a commitment to fighting climate change, despite the Trump administration’s rolling back of environmental regulations and withdrawal from the Paris climate accord.
“Donald Trump must be stopped,” De Blasio said.
He is the second Democrat this week to announce they are joining the presidential race, following Montana’s governor, Steve Bullock.

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