Former New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio Says He Will Not Run For Governor
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Gov. Kathy Hochul has been buoyed by a trifecta of good news as she seeks the Democratic nomination for governor -- a favorable new poll, a fundraising bonanza, and the decision by one of her would-be opponents to pass up the race.
Exactly 147 days after she took the oath off office to replace Andrew Cuomo, Hochul got an unexpected gift Tuesday from the man Cuomo loved to hate.
"This is the right place for me to share some news with you. No, I am not going to be running for governor of New York state," former Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.
De Blasio stood on the block near his Park Slope home and ended months of speculation about whether he would challenge Hochul for the nomination.
Although he admitted to missteps as mayor, de Blasio said, "I made my fair share of mistakes. I was not good with groundhogs at all, probably shouldn't have gone to the gym."
READ MORE: Gov. Hochul Unveils New Budget, Says New York To Make Historic Investments In Education, Infrastructure And Health Care
It was unlikely his killing of Staten Island Chuck on his first Groundhog Day as mayor or his frequent trips to the Park Slope "Y" would have been major campaign issues. It was probably de Blasio's standing in the polls that provided the reality check on his political aspirations.
A new Siena College poll gives Hochul a commanding lead, with 46%. De Blasio comes next with 12%, followed by Public Advocate Jumaane Williams at 11%, Long Island Rep. Tom Suozzi at 6%, and with 24% undecided.
FLASHBACK: Siena College Poll Finds Gov. Hochul In Lead In Potential Democratic Primary For New York Governor
Political experts say Williams may benefit the most from de Blasio's decision to pull out.
"There's no question that Jumaane Williams is going to make a decision to stay in the race because he believes that the 12 points that de Blasio has will go to him," said Esther Fuchs of Columbia University.
The poll has Hochul leading in almost every geographic and demographic group, except Black voters where de Blasio has 36%, Hochul has 26%, Williams has 19%, and Suozzi has 4%.
"Yes, he's expecting to pick up all of de Blasio's voters, especially the Black vote, but I think he's really starting at a point in which he probably didn't expect to be right now," Fuchs said.
READ MORE: Marist College Poll: Kathy Hochul Off To Fast Start In New York Gubernatorial Race
Kramer asked Fuchs if the large undecided vote could help Williams or Suozzi.
"So undecided voters are usually voters who are likely to stay home during the primaries and are less important to the outcome," Fuchs said.
Completing Hochul's trifecta of good news, her campaign reported raising $21.6 million for the race. In contrast, Suozzi raised $5 million.
Hochul's cash haul drew immediate fire from Republicans. State Chairman Nick Langworthy charged she raised the money by cutting deals with lobbyists and special interests.
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