Mayor Bill de Blasio has been mulling a run for governor in 2022 as Governor Andrew Cuomo scrambles to respond to allegations he covered up the true toll of nursing homes deaths.
The mayor is term limited and will be leaving office this November, while Cuomo can run for a fourth term in November 2022, the New York Post reported.
These discussions come as Cuomo is under scrutiny from the New York Attorney General Letitia James for not one but two scandals: that his administration rewrote health reports to obscure the number of nursing home residents, and that he behaved inappropriately toward people who worked for him and whose jobs depended on his approval.
A federal probe has been opened into the nursing home scandal, and James is investigating allegations of workplace misbehavior.
De Blasio has been in touch with his union allies as the governor struggles to find friends.
A former senior adviser said, “[the] more he talks about it, the more he’s like, ‘Maybe this isn’t such a crazy idea … maybe I have a shot,” adding that the mayor sees his own reputation improving as Cuomo’s sinks.
But many are skeptical that de Blasio, who embarrassed himself on the national stage with an ineffective and timewasting presidential run, could endear himself to New Yorkers.
“It’s surprising that after all this time, he would think he could be elected in New York,” said Karen Hinton, a former press secretary to the mayor and the governor. “New Yorkers writ large don’t particularly like him,” she told the Post. “I find it hard to imagine that he could reform himself and be elected. That’s harsh, but I just think that’s obvious.”
If he chooses to run in the Democratic primary, de Blasio may face stiff competition from Attorney General James. An African-American woman with a long history of community work, decades in politics, and someone with a reputation for being unafraid of going after anyone who she suspects of acting illegally, be it former president Trump or Cuomo, James would likely gain the support of several powerful groups, such as the Brooklyn Democrats and the progressive Democrats who were elected statewide in 2018.
And there is still the possibility Cuomo will attempt to wait out the scandals and run again.