Waiting for campaign announcements for the 2020 Democratic primary has already gotten boring, but folks, we’re not done yet. Not only have major contenders like Sen. Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden not yet entered the race, there’s still plenty of time for candidates with little to no chance of winning to make a splash—in that vein, Amy Klobuchar announced her candidacy yesterday. Now, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is considering getting into the extremely crowded field.
According to Politico, de Blasio will travel to New Hampshire this Thursday to meet with Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess and schmooze with locals. On Friday, he’ll head back the state, to the city of Concord, where he’ll meet with local organizers Rights & Democracy, whose mission is to “counter the influence of money in politics.”
“He wants to make sure ideas like pre-K for all, paid personal time and mental health are on the table as Democrats debate the party’s vision for the future,” City Hall Communications Director Mike Casca said of the trip in a statement. Casca worked on Bernie Sanders campaign in 2016.
De Blasio has been doing some recruiting as well.
Jon Paul Lupo, one of the mayor’s top political aides who has extensive national campaign experience, is also working on the effort. The city’s Conflicts of Interest Board determined Lupo could split his time between City Hall and the mayor’s federal fundraising arm, Fairness PAC, Casca said. So far, he said, Lupo is only using vacation days for the mayor’s national flirtation.
They will travel to New Hampshire Friday with another City Hall staffer who has national campaign experience, Jaclyn Rothenberg. Casca said their travel will be paid by the Fairness PAC. Harvard is covering the cost of the mayor’s visit and coverage for the rest of his trip will be determined after he decides whether to stop in Albany for an annual legislative caucus on the way home.
At the moment, it’s hard to imagine de Blasio doing particularly well in a 2020 primary. His name recognition probably doesn’t match that of other left-of-center candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. And he has a troubling record on police brutality and gentrification in New York City, where he’s sometimes struggled with popularity. In a match up with Warren or Sanders, de Blasio’s approval of the New York City Amazon deal could also potentially trip him up.
On the other hand, de Blasio’s record in New York features some progressive achievements, like providing pre-Kindergarten to all 4 year olds and securing paid sick leave for employees. Just this month, he announced a push for a paid time off law that would cover nearly all New York City workers.
It’s still incredibly early in the 2020 season, and we have no idea what might happen between now and the first primaries next year. Maybe de Blasio, if he goes ahead and announces, will distinguish himself and pull ahead of the pack. Anything is possible!