Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced he is withdrawing from the congressional race for left-leaning NY-10, effectively ending his career in electoral politics.
“I’ve really listened carefully to people and it’s clear to me that when it comes to this congressional district, people are looking for another option. And I respect that,” the former mayor said in a video statement posted to Twitter.
De Blasio stated it’s finally time for him to “leave electoral politics” and “focus on other ways to serve.”
“Even though this is not going to work out, I hope you know how much I appreciate you and we’re gonna do a lot together to make this city better in the future,” he added.
It’s clear the people of #NY10 are looking for another option and I respect that. Time for me to leave electoral politics and focus on other ways to serve. I am really grateful for all the people I met, the stories I heard and the many good souls who helped out. Thank you all! pic.twitter.com/gpt6V6WLUf
— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) July 19, 2022
The former mayor announced his withdrawal after a poll “released by the progressive Working Families Party showed more than half of undecided Democratic voters in the district definitely would not back him in the crowded race,” the New York Post reported.
Of the 15 candidates in the race, 49% of respondents — 254 of the 636 individuals surveyed — said they would not cast a ballot for de Blasio.
If elected, the 61 year old ex-pol would have represented parts of his old City Council district which includes his own Park Slope neighborhood.
De Blasio’s campaign raised over half a million dollars with $450,400 cash on hand, according to federal campaign finance records posted last week.
The exit from the NY-10 race is not the first time de Blasio dropped out of a race.
He abandoned his 2020 presidential campaign after failing to clinch even 1% of support in national polls — all the while infuriating the New Yorkers he was elected to serve for two terms.
In a phone interview with Gothamist, De Blasio said “that his reasons for dropping out were a combination of internal and outside polling as well as being “beat on resources.””
His campaign recently reported raising over $500,000 in campaign donations, the third-highest among all the candidates, but far short of the millions raised by two of his rivals.
The race to represent the 10th Congressional District, which covers Lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, is among the most competitive and crowded midterm contests in New York this year. Along with de Blasio, 12 other candidates successfully petitioned to get on the August 23rd ballot. They include: ex-prosecutor Daniel Goldman, Westchester Congressman Mondaire Jones, City Councilmember Carlina Rivera, and state Assemblymembers Yuh-Line Niou and Jo Anne Simon.
Back in May, the 61-year-old appeared to relish the opportunity to return to elected office after eight years as mayor left him with some regret, he said.
But he struggled in the polls and failed to win any significant endorsements. Early interviews with voters in the district suggested many were disenchanted with the Park Slope resident despite widely praised progressive policies like universal pre-K.