New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will officially announce his candidacy Thursday on Good Morning America, his campaign confirmed to NBC News.
De Blasio, 57, has served as mayor of New York since 2013; he was re-elected to a second term in 2017. Previously, he held the position of New York City’s public advocate and served on the New York City Council representing the Park Slope and Cobble Hill neighborhoods of Brooklyn.
In the months leading up to the launch of his presidential, de Blasio has traveled to meet voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina and has donated to several candidates running in key primary states through his Fairness PAC.
High school journalist Gabe Fleisher, who writes the newsletter “Wake Up Politics,” broke the news of de Blasio’s announcement by tweeting out a notice from an Iowa Democratic club announcing that de Blasio (whose name they misspelled) would be coming to Sioux City on Friday.
De Blasio is the 23rd candidate and the third New Yorker to jump into the Democratic field, joining Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Andrew Yang. Michael Bloomberg, De Blasio’s predecessor as mayor of New York, ruled out a run for president earlier this year.
De Blasio is best known for his ambitious progressive policy proposals aimed at reducing income inequality and increasing the amount of affordable housing in New York by taxing the city’s wealthiest residents.
His administration has expanded universal pre-Kindergarten, introduced paid sick time protections for workers, and debuted New York City ID cards to allow undocumented and homeless residents to access city services.
“We actually do have the money to solve the problems, and I know where the money is,” de Blasio said of his economic philosophy at the United Conference of Mayors in January. “This country has spent decades taking from working people and concentrating the wealth in the hands of the 1 percent. That’s where the money is.”
His tenure as mayor has also garnered a hefty amount of criticism for feuding with Governor Andrew Cuomo over who is responsible for fixing New York’s increasingly dilapidated public transit system, among many other things, and for the pervasive homelessness crisis in New York.
The mayor has additionally faced opposition to his administration from fellow progressives over giving generous tax breaks to real estate developers and supporting Amazon’s controversial proposal to build a second headquarters in Queens, which Amazon canceled in February after fierce opposition from other New York political figures.
De Blasio is also known for his gruff and sometimes blustery attitude, including frequently arriving late to meetings and funerals, sniping at reporters for their coverage of his City Hall, and shooing away an elderly woman who approached him in a Brooklyn YMCA asking him for assistance finding housing.
While most presidential candidates can count on some support from their constituents, de Blasio is notably unpopular. A Quinnipiac University poll conducted in April found that not only do 44% of New Yorkers disapprove of his job performance compared with 42% who approve, and an overwhelming 76% of New Yorkers also believed de Blasio shouldn’t run for president.
A Monmouth University poll released in March found that of 12 declared and potential Democratic presidential candidates, de Blasio was the only potential contender to receive a negative favorability rating.
Despite his underwater approval rating and minimal name recognition outside of New York, de Blasio believes he has a real shot at beating the odds, as he’s previously done in his political career.
“I have spent a lot of time in dead last in many a poll in many a race,” he told the New York Times in January. “It’s not where you start. It’s where you end.”