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Bill de Blasio announces run for Congress as NY Democrats grapple with new map


(NEW YORK) — New York’s political scene — upended this week by a newly drawn congressional map — got even more interesting Friday with an announcement from former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“Today I’m declaring my candidacy for Congress in the 10th Congressional District of New York,” de Blasio said during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

The new district will span from lower Manhattan to Brooklyn, including de Blasio’s neighborhood of Park Slope, if the map is approved as expected by a state judge on Friday.

“The poll shows people are hurting,” de Blasio told Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough. “They need help, they need help fast, and they need leaders who could actually get them help now and know how to do it.”

De Blasio’s run for a House seat comes after two terms as mayor and a failed presidential bid in 2020. He also considered a run for governor earlier this year but ultimately decided not to challenge sitting Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul. Instead, he said at the time would devote “every fiber” of himself to fight inequality in New York.

He tweeted Friday morning that “the way to save democracy is be part of it.”

At least one other Democrat will be competing against de Blasio for the nomination. State Sen. Brad Hoylman told THE CITY this week he’ll be campaigning in the new 10th District barring any more changes from the court.

But more are reportedly considering jumping into the race. Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou’s team said this week she’s been approached by community leaders to run in the new district, and that she’s “seriously considering” it.

New York’s current 10th Congressional District is represented by House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler. But thanks to the new map, Nadler is running in a new district against House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney.

The new map also pits Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, against first-term progressive Rep. Mondaire Jones.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called the situation “chaos” on Thursday, while Rep. Hakeem Jeffries said the map would “make Jim Crow blush” since it splintered several historically Black neighborhoods.

The new districts were unveiled earlier this week by a court-appointed expert after the New York Court of Appeals in April charged the legislature of improperly gerrymandering the map they originally proposed.

New Yorkers also now have to wait until August to vote in the primary elections for Congress, rather than picking their party’s nominees in June, because of the redistricting process.

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