NYC mayor says he’ll decide this month on presidential run

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will announce this month whether he is joining the growing list of candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for president, he said Thursday.

“I’m going to make my decision in the month of May and as soon as we have something to tell you we’ll tell you,” de Blasio said at a news conference on crime statistics.

The announcement of an impending announcement came after several weeks of the second-term mayor saying he would decide “sooner rather than later” whether he’s running for president.

Signs that he is likely to run include trips to early voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire and a $5,000-a-head fundraiser at a Boston construction company.

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Two former City Hall staffers are working full time on the potential campaign, including Mike Casca, who joined the mayor’s staff in 2017 after working on Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential run.

Asked about his Iowa operation, de Blasio acknowledged that his political action committee, Fairness PAC, has conducted polling in the state. “The ultimate decision as I’ve said is a personal one and a family one but of course it makes sense to look at other information,” he said.

De Blasio’s possible presidential campaign has not attracted wide support. A Quinnipiac poll last month found that 76 percent of New York City voters don’t want him to seek the Democratic nomination for president.

But de Blasio’s supporters say he has a proven record on issues such as police reform and expanding full-day prekindergarten citywide.

“Bill de Blasio has had a fair amount of big, progressive achievements as mayor of New York City,” said Rebecca Katz, a former adviser who is not working on de Blasio’s possible presidential campaign. “I don’t want to get in his head too much, but my guess is he wants the world to see it, understand it and thank him for it.”

The mayor spoke hours after Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado announced that he was joining the Democratic primary race.

De Blasio, who is term-limited and must find a new job after 2021, denied he would be running mainly to raise his profile and secure a position in another Democrat’s administration.

“I have never run for anything without intending to win,” he said. “And you can look at my track record. I was an underdog in everything I’ve ever been near.”

De Blasio called the field of potential primary rivals “extraordinarily rich,” adding, “If you don’t like the way the field looks on Monday, wait a day or two and it will change.”

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