Bill de Blasio Says He Won't Run for N.Y. Governor as He Lists Achievements and Admits Mistakes

The former New York City mayor was reportedly positioning to take on Gov. Kathy Hochul but has decided he won’t run — though there are “good things ahead,” he said Tuesday

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio . Photo: Scott Heins/Getty

Recently departed New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday that he's not running for governor of New York after all.

"This is the right place for me to share some news with you," he said in a video recorded on a block in Brooklyn where he lives. "No, I am not going to be running for governor in New York state. But I am going to devote every fiber of my being to fight inequality in the state of New York. We got a lot to do. Together."

First elected in 2013, de Blasio, 60, left office on Jan. 1, making way for New York City's new Mayor Eric Adams, who was sworn in after the New Year's Eve midnight ball drop in Times Square in the first minutes of 2022.

De Blasio announced a presidential bid in 2019 but failed to gain steam and dropped out months later after dismal polling numbers and failing to qualify for Democratic primary debates.

As 2021 neared its end, de Blasio filed paperwork indicating he was interested in challenging Gov. Kathy Hochul (who took over in Albany after disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo stepped won), Politico reported at the end of October.

"I want to continue in public service and there's a lot that needs to be fixed in Albany. There's a lot that needs to be changed in the State of New York," de Blasio said during a November appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe. "I look forward to being part of the discussion of where our state needs to go in the future. I'll tell you more about the politics a little bit down the line, but I got to tell you I'm excited and I'm energized to get out there and continue to serve."

Black Lives Matter is painted on Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower, in New York
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (third from left) participates in painting Black Lives Matter on Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower on Thursday. Mark Lennihan/AP/Shutterstock

De Blasio — who was twice elected by huge margins but who also contended with growing disapproval from voters at the end of his term — listed some of his accomplishments as mayor of the country's biggest city in his Tuesday announcement.

"We said we were going to take on inequality — head on. The Tale of Two Cities, take it on. Naysayers said it couldn't be done. But we proved, together, we can make a big change," he said before mentioning universal pre-K at NYC schools, new affordable housing, climate change initiatives, reforms in policing and turning the city around from the pandemic "epicenter to the safest place in this country" in its COVID-19 response.

He also admitted a "fair share of mistakes."

"I was not good with groundhogs at all," he said. "Probably shouldn't have gone to the gym."

On Groundhog Day 2014, de Blasio dropped a 10-month-old female groundhog named Charlotte who later died of internal injuries, though zoo officials said the death was unrelated to being accidentally dropped by the mayor.

During the height of calls to stay at home and practice social distancing in March 2020, the mayor was criticized for going to a YMCA for what he said was his "last chance to get some exercise."

In his Tuesday announcement, de Blasio didn't say what his future holds but hinted that there's another announcement coming soon. "I'm going to share some more news with you in the days ahead," he said. "Let's keep this fight going because we proved change can happen in New York. Good things ahead."

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