In the wake of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) being accused of sexual misconduct by multiple aides over the past week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is reportedly considering running for governor himself, according to insiders close to him.
As Cuomo’s scandal has gotten worse, de Blasio has reportedly become more confidant that he could actually win.
“I fell out of my chair laughing — he is honestly thinking about it,” a former senior adviser told The New York Post. “Because of all this Cuomo s–t, he is feeling bold.”
When asked is he was eyeing Cuomo’s job this week, de Blasio played it coy, replying, “The future will take care of itself.”
Multiple advisors have said that de Blasio is openly talking about running against Cuomo in a 2022 Democratic primary. As mayor, De Blasio is term-limited and leaves office at the end of this year, but Cuomo can seek re-election to a fourth term in November of 2022.
“He’s calling his labor friends,” one operative said of the mayor. “He’s interested. I think that no matter what – even if the governor runs for a fourth term — de Blasio will primary him.”
Bill Neidhardt, de Blasio’s press secretary, added, “As reported a few weeks ago, the Mayor is having ongoing discussions with friends in the labor movement about the future of progressive politics in New York City.”
After a low point last year, de Blasio reportedly thinks his image is rebounding while Cuomo’s is plummeting.
“The more he talks about it, the more he’s like, ‘Maybe this isn’t such a crazy idea … maybe I have a shot,’” the former senior adviser said about a potential gubernatorial run. “The way it’s been described to me is, he is like talking himself into it.”
Another longtime Albany insider said “de Blasio for governor” talk is actually gaining traction.
“I’ve heard it raised in more than a joking manner,” the source said. “It doesn’t shock me. This is a guy with a huge ego, an inflated sense of self importance. He’s someone who ran for president even though it was clear he was never going to gain traction.”
A current City Official went so far as to say that it is now expected that de Blasio will run.
“He ran for president. It fits a pattern of delusion of grandeur,” the source said. “Sure he’d love to be a political commentator, but if there’s a route to run for elected office, he will pursue it.”
However, many are not nearly as optimistic about de Blasio’s chances as he is.
“It’s surprising that after all this time, he would think he could be elected in New York,” said Karen Hinton, who was a former press secretary to both de Blasio and Cuomo. “I’m not trying to take away anything from his accomplishments — I think he has had many — but New Yorkers writ large don’t particularly like him, and I find it hard to imagine that he could reform himself and be elected. That’s harsh, but I just think that’s obvious.”
Another strategist also spoke out to issue a warning against those betting against a fourth term for Cuomo.
“Don’t underestimate Andrew Cuomo,” the strategist said. “I don’t think he’s as finished as some people say he is. He still has a chance to redeem himself.”