New York, New York city Mayor Bill de Blasio jumped into the 2020 presidential race on Thursday, joining at least 22 other Democratic candidates for the party’s nomination.
The Mayor announced his run with a video released by his campaign.
“There’s plenty of money in this world. There’s plenty of money in this country. It’s just in the wrong hands,” De Blasio says at the beginning of the video.
“(President) Donald Trump must be stopped. I’ve beaten him before and I will do it again… I’m Bill de Blasio and I’m running for President because it’s time we put working people first.”
De Blasio has travelled to early primary states including Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina and formed a federal Political Action Committee (PAC) called Fairness PAC to bankroll his travels, CBS New York reported.
His entry into the race brings the total number of Democratic candidates to 23, including Indian-origin Senator Kamala Harris and former Vice President Joe Biden, with nearly nine months before the first votes are cast.
De Blasio has sought for years to position himself as a national progressive leader, after racking up accomplishments in his first few years in office including universal pre-kindergarten, paid sick days and living wage legislation and a city ID card available to undocumented immigrants.
But frustrations have built over New York’s crumbling public housing system where hundreds of children got lead poisoning after officials lied about doing inspections, and high homelessness.
Polls show the Mayor faces an uphill battle in the race for the White House. One Quinnipiac poll found that 76 per cent of New York City voters did not want him to run.
Under De Blasio, New York City has challenged Trump immigration policies, including family separation, in court and maintained a commitment to fighting climate change, despite the administration’s rolling back of environmental regulations and withdrawal from the Paris climate accord.
Trump called De Blasio’s bid a “joke”.
“The Democrats are getting another beauty to join their group. Bill de Blasio of NYC, considered the worst Mayor in the US, will supposedly be making an announcement for President today. He is a joke, but if you like high taxes and crime, he’s your man. NYC hates him!”
The Mayor plans to visit Iowa and South Carolina to close out the week.