De Blasio files paperwork to set up run for governor

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Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks to reporters after visiting New Bridges Elementary School in Brooklyn on Aug. 19, 2020.

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is one step closer to joining the race for governor of New York after filing paperwork with the Board of Elections to create a fundraising committee. The Democrat, 60, filed paperwork last week to create a committee called New Yorkers for a Fair Future that will allow him to raise funds for a statewide campaign.

De Blasio, whose second and final term as mayor ends December 31, has not formally announced a run for governor but has spoken broadly about wanting to serve the state. “I do want to continue in public service. I do want to do more for the people in this city and this state,” the mayor said at his virtual news briefing Tuesday.

“I love a lot of parts of the state,” de Blasio answered when asked about his familiarity with the rest of the state outside of New York City. “This is a state with tremendous potential, but also a lot of unrealized potential. There’s tremendous talent, tremendous beauty in the state of New York, but we’re not where we need to be.”

De Blasio said on MSNBC Tuesday that he wants to be part of the discussion “of where our state needs to go in the future.” The mayor added that there is plenty of time to look at all the issues and look at the contrast between candidates. “When people get a chance to hear all different perspectives, that’s what really decides elections,” he said.

If de Blasio does launch a campaign, he’d be directly challenging Democrat Kathy Hochul, the incumbent New York governor who took over in August after Andrew Cuomo resigned amid a sexual harassment scandal. She announced that she will run for a full term in 2022. With Attorney General Letitia James announcing her bid for governor and NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams potentially running, the mayor was asked during his briefing Tuesday how he would be able to get votes from people across the city.

“There is going to be a lot of time ahead for people to look at different leaders,” de Blasio said, adding that he has started a committee that’s going to be a “vehicle to talk about the issues that are facing this state and this city I care about deeply.”

Rep. Lee Zeldin of Long Island and Andrew Giuliani, son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, are among those seeking the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

The latest update comes as New York City votes Tuesday for a new mayor to replace de Blasio come January when his term ends. Frontrunner Democrat Eric Adams, also the current Brooklyn borough president, is up against Republican challenger Curtis Sliwa in Tuesday’s mayoral race.

When asked back in early August about a potential run for governor, de Blasio said he hadn’t ruled anything out. Those comments came even before Cuomo resigned. De Blasio ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020 but failed to break out of a crowded field.

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