NBC has reported that according to a campaign spokesperson, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will declare his candidacy for president on Thursday. The mayor will join more than 20 other candidates who have already announced that they are seeking the Democratic nomination. A de Blasio spokeswoman, Olivia Lapeyrolerie, declined to confirm Wednesday that de Blasio is planning to enter the race.
On Monday, de Blasio seemed to be laying the groundwork for an announcement by holding a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower to blame the skyscraper for contributing to air pollution. The attention-grabbing location also drew supporters of President Donald Trump who jeered and heckled the mayor as he hollered to make himself heard.
According to NBC, after his formal announcement in the morning, he plans to travel with his wife, Chirlane McCray, to Iowa and South Carolina for four days while making multiple stops in those early voting states.
De Blasio is expected to highlight his progressive accomplishments in New York City, including enacting supplying universal pre-K, a minimum wage of $15 per hour, and the drop in NYC’s crime rate.
De Blasio’s popularity is not high in his home city, nor in early surveys of the two states that vote earliest, Iowa and New Hampshire. A recent Quinnipiac University poll found 76% of New York City voters said they believed de Blasio should not run.
“Because he has such a present press corps in a tabloid city, we’ve seen him up close and in an aggressive and unflattering light, but if you look at his actual record of achievement, it’s quite lengthy,” said Rebecca Katz, a Democratic strategist and former top de Blasio aide. “Yes, there’s an argument to be made about whether he should be running for president or not, but he is certainly qualified.”