Last Updated on May 20, 2022
Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday that he is running for Congress in a newly drawn district that straddles Brooklyn and Manhattan. Supposedly “nonpartisan” maps that heavily favored Democrats were ruled unconstitutional last month, prompting a re-draw.
“I’m declaring my candidacy for Congress in the 10th Congressional District in New York,” de Blasio told NYC on Friday. The former Mayor, whose reign ended in January, previously launched an unsuccessful bid for president in 2020.
“Polls show people are hurting, they need help, they need help fast, they need leaders that can actually get them help now,” de Blasio added. “I know how to do it from years of serving the people of this city.”
The newly drawn district includes lower Manhattan, parts of Brownstone Brooklyn and Borough Park. The New York Post previously reported that de Blasio was considering a Congressional run. He later formed an exploratory committee on Wednesday.
Incumbent Rep. Jerrold Nadler’s current district heavily overlaps with the 10th District, but Nadler has chosen to take on fellow Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney in the new 12th District. State Senator Brad Hoylman has already announced plans to run in the 10th District, assuming its final lines get approved by a state judge Friday.
Court-appointed special master Jonathan Cervas created the new district after the previous map was rejected.
According to The New York Post, the former mayor’s campaign war chest still holds approximately $800,000. Transferring these funds in order to run for Congress would likely prove difficult for de Blasio, according to election law expert Sarah Steiner.
“He could really screw the pooch if he tries to transfer city money to a federal account,” Steiner told the outlet.
Democrats have complained that the new maps are racist and compared them to Jim Crow.
Partisan gerrymandering is supposed to be outlawed in New York under state law. Despite this, Democrats were still favored in 22 of the state’s 26 Congressional districts on maps drawn by a “nonpartisan redistricting committee.”