By Godson Ikiebey-
New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio (D) launched his presidential campaign on Thursday, May 16, 2019, joining a crowded field of Democratic contenders.
According to The Hill, he said in a video announcing the launch of his campaign that:
“I will take on the wealthy. I will take on the big corporations. I will not rest until this government serves working people. As mayor of the largest city in America, I’ve done just that.
“Donald Trump must be stopped. I’ve beaten him before and I’ll do it again”.
The progressive leader of the country’s most populous city had been mulling a presidential campaign for months, having already made trips to crucial early primary states Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.
De Blasio is the 24th candidate to jump into the Democratic primary race, and will likely face a tough road to the nomination. More established progressive rivals such as Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have already been campaigning and raising money for months.
A possible presidential bid would also likely face opposition from de Blasio’s own hometown. A survey from Quinnipiac University Poll released last month showed 76 percent of New York City residents think he should not run for president.
De Blasio has cast himself as a progressive during his two terms as mayor, railing against income inequality, touting the benefits of the Green New Deal and feuding with New York’s centrist governor Andrew Cuomo (D).
He is expected to emphasize his mayoral accomplishments during the presidential campaign, including the creation of universal pre-kindergarten and raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, according to news reports.
He has also frequently attacked his fellow New Yorker, President Trump.
His late entry to the race will present a series of challenges, at a time when even once-rising stars such as former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) are struggling to emerge from the crowded Democratic pack.
The New York mayor could also initially struggle to land a spot on the primary debate due to kick off late next month.
To qualify for the 12 scheduled Democratic primary debates, candidates must receive at least 1 percent support in at least three separate polls recognized by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) or receive campaign contributions from at least 65,000 unique donors.
The DNC has said that it will prioritize candidates who meet both thresholds if more than 20 contenders qualify for the debates.