In a district seemingly made to order for him, former Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that he’s forming an exploratory committee to run for the newly drawn 10th Congressional District that includes parts of lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.
The former mayor took to Twitter to announce his potential candidacy Wednesday following a Tuesday report from the New York Post that he was seriously considering a run for the likely open Congressional seat.
“Our neighborhoods need help as we recover from Covid,” de Blasio Tweeted Wednesday. “Our nation needs help as democracy is threatened and working people struggle. I am ready to serve to continue the fight against inequality. Today I am forming an Exploratory Committee for the new #NY10.”
The lines for the draft new district include all of lower Manhattan roughly below 14th Street and several north and central Brooklyn neighborhoods like Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Park Slope and Borough Park. The seat is open because its current occupant U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D – Manhattan, Brooklyn) has decided to run against his longtime colleague U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D – Manhattan, Queens) to represent the 12th Congressional District, which was redrawn to include the Upper West Side where Nadler lives.
De Blasio, who lives in Park Slope, represented several of the neighborhoods in the potential CD10 when he was in the City Council from 2002 to 2009 – a district that’s now represented by Council Member Shahana Hanif. Prior to his current Congressional bid, de Blasio had publicly considered running for Congressional District 11 under the old plan, which was redrawn to include Park Slope in a district that primarily covers conservative areas like Staten Island and South Brooklyn.
De Blasio also has strong neighborhood ties to the district going back decades including to Assembly Member Simcha Eichenstein (D – Brooklyn), a Borough Park representative and City Council Member Lincoln Restler, who represents Brooklyn Heights. Although neither has made an endorsement yet, both worked for de Blasio in City Hall.
However, de Blasio has already picked up an endorsement from Brooklyn Democratic Party boss Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn who said in a statement that the former mayor “is the most qualified progressive candidate who I believe can win this diverse seat.”
The contours of the new draft 10th District were revealed two days ago, when Steuben County Supreme Court-appointed special master Jonathan Servas released new Congressional and state Senate lines he drew after a batch of maps drafted by the Democratic-controlled state legislature were struck down as unconstitutional by the state’s highest court last month.
Steuben County Judge Patrick McAllister – the judge overseeing the process who appointed Cervas – has until Friday to approve final maps and is accepting testimony on the draft maps up until then.
Also considering bids for the open seat are former city Comptroller Scott Stringer, state Sens. Brad Hoylman (D – Manhattan) and Simcha Felder (D – Brooklyn) and Assembly Members Jo Anne Simon (D – Brooklyn), Yuh-Line Niou (D – Manhattan) and Robert Carroll (D – Brooklyn).
Carroll said he’s currently speaking with his wife, close friends and advisors about the viability of a run for Congress and will make a final decision once the new maps get the rubber stamp. He added that he’s still waiting to see where he can have a better impact – in Albany or Washington.
“Nothing has been formalized yet,” Carroll said. “it’s how to serve New York. I think the work we’re doing in Albany is unbelievably important and we impact and affect public policy every single day in Albany. And so I take that highly seriously. I want to see how best I can serve. And that’s the reason why I haven’t made up my mind on exactly what I’m going to do until I finally see exactly what these lines are, and what the shape of this race actually is.”
Carroll, a staunch Albany progressive, said he’s interested in running for the seat because he wants to be part of a new generation of leadership that can help the country navigate the many national crises it faces right now. He was particularly energized by the recent leaked draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion that would overturn abortion rights across the country.
“I think our country is at a crossroads,” Carroll said. “The fact that we’ve got a Supreme Court that wants to send us to the 70s. You know, I was born in the 80s. And my first child is due in October. We need a new generation of leaders to lead our country forward. You know, that’s the reason I’m running.”