De Blasio drops out of NY10 race, says people ‘are looking for another option’

Former Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Photo by Tsubasa Berg.

Just as quickly as he came, he went.

In a shocking twist, ex-Mayor Bill de Blasio announced via a video on Twitter he’s dropping out of the race for the newly redrawn 10th Congressional District Tuesday, over a month before the Aug. 23 election. 

“It’s clear the people of #NY10 are looking for another option and I respect that,” the former mayor said. “I just want to say, I love the people of this city, I really want to keep serving and I’m going to find a different way to serve. But I’m filled with gratitude at the same time. I’ve been on an amazing journey with so many of you. I want to thank all of the people who’ve helped in this campaign and before. The members of the team, volunteers, the supporters, everyone that’s been part of it, thank you.”

Seeming quite defeated, de Blasio acknowledged that he’s “made mistakes” and this has been a “humbling experience.”

“I’m also recognizing I’ve made mistakes,” de Blasio said. “I want to do better in the future. I want to learn from those mistakes. And it’s been a humbling experience sometimes but it’s been a healthy experience.”

De Blasio made headlines as one of the first candidates to announce his run for the newly redrawn seat in late May when new district lines drawn by a Steuben County Supreme Court appointed map-maker were first released. The district – that includes much of lower Manhattan and swaths of Brownstone Brooklyn – seemed tailor-made for de Blasio, who represented several of those areas on the City Council during the 2000s.

Although de Blasio was able to raise over $510,000, his campaign has struggled to gain traction in a crowded field that includes U.S. Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-Rockland, Westchester Counties), City Council Member Carlina Rivera (D-Manhattan), Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou (D-Manhattan) and Dan Goldman – lead counsel in the first impeachment of former President Donald Trump. The ex-mayor’s decision to exit the field comes after two recent polls from Data for Progress and the New York Working Families Party (NYWFP) put him at the bottom of the pack with 5 and 3 percent support respectively – trailing Rivera and Niou,, who appear to be the frontrunners.

In response to an inquiry from PoliticsNY about Rivera’s reaction to de Blasio dropping out and whether she’d seek his endorsement, campaign spokesperson Alyssa Cass said “Carlina looks forward to earning his vote.”

But de Blasio suspending his campaign wasn’t the only explosive news to come out of the District 10 race Tuesday. 

Candidates including Rivera, Jones and Holtzman all publicly slammed Goldman Tuesday for saying he supports limiting the timeline for when women can get an abortion to the “break-point of viability” in an interview with the Jewish newspaper Hamodia. They all said limiting abortion to this window is a policy often proposed by conservative Repbulicans.

In the interview, he said he also “would not object” to state laws that ban having an abortion at any time during a pregancy. The interviewer points out that after conferring with an aide, Goldman switched his responses to being against abortion restrictions, saying “I believe that a woman’s right to choose is a woman’s individual decision.”

But in a release, Rivera wasn’t buying it.

“Dan Goldman has just told us, clearly and in response to direct questions, that he supports certain abortion restrictions, supports state-level laws restricting reproductive healthcare, and is not a reliable vote for Democratic bills like the Women’s Health Protection Act,” Rivera said. “There are candidates in this race, including myself, who don’t triangulate on issues of fundamental rights and don’t have to confer with an aide to know where we stand on abortion: we’ve been fighting for it from day one and have a record to prove it.”

Holtzman took things a step further, tweeting a statement that said “he should drop out of the race immediately.”

Following the backlash Tuesday, Goldman’s campaign released a statement walking back the comments.

“I misspoke in an interview yesterday, and, as I subsequently clarified later in the interview, the decision to have an abortion is a healthcare decision that needs to be made between a woman and her doctor. Period,” Goldman said. “I unequivocally support a woman’s right to choose. There is no room for government involvement at any point in time, for any reason.”

This story was updated on Tuesday, July 19 at 3:30p.m.