De Blasio Contemplates Entering a Race He Could Actually Win

He’s ready to lead again. Photo: John Lamparski/Getty Images

Though Bill de Blasio seemed uninterested in carrying out the job of mayor for large stretches of his tenure, he is nevertheless a political animal by nature. So it’s not too surprising that, with his time running New York City over, he is already missing the thrill of the game.

For months, it looked like de Blasio would run for governor of New York, despite his statewide unpopularity. (Not that long odds and lack of public support has stopped him before; remember his inexplicable presidential campaign?) But in January, de Blasio announced that he wouldn’t throw his hat in the ring after all, perhaps, for once, paying attention to the writing on the wall.

Now de Blasio may be setting his sights lower, on a race that might actually be winnable.

The Daily News reported on Wednesday that de Blasio had told multiple people he was considering launching a bid for Brooklyn’s newly drawn 11th District. The paper reported that he had called a prominent union leader on Wednesday, and had contacted “longtime campaign donors and civic leaders” with ties to the district as well.

For the last decade, the 11th has encompassed parts of southern Brooklyn and all of Staten Island — two of the most conservative areas in New York City. (It is currently the only congressional district in the five boroughs represented by a Republican, Nicole Malliotakis.) But under a new congressional map drawn by Democrats, its borders look radically different. As long as that map holds up in court, the 11th District will now include a wide swath of liberal brownstone Brooklyn, including Park Slope — home to both de Blasio’s residence and his beloved YMCA. That makes a general election far more winnable for Democrats, and could lead to an intriguing primary.

As of now, the leading contender is the moderate Democrat Max Rose, who triumphed over Republican Dan Donovan in 2018, only to lose to Malliotakis two years later. And to say that Rose is not a fan of de Blasio is understating the case. As part of his failed reelection bid, he ran a memorable ad that concisely expressed his feelings on the matter:

The progressive community activist Brittany Ramos DeBarros has also announced a run, and could compete with de Blasio for the more left-leaning vote.

The question is whether after eight years of de Blasio, any voters — even the ones who live next door — want more of him. It seems the ex-mayor may not be able to stop himself from getting an answer to that question.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Max Rose defeated Nicole Malliotakis in 2018.

De Blasio Contemplates Entering a Race He Could Actually Win