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Former NYC Mayor de Blasio sets sights on Congress

The Brooklyn-based Democrat lives in a district newly redrawn to exclude its longtime incumbent candidate.

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (CN) — A year after ending his second term as New York City mayor with deep damage to his popularity, Bill de Blasio announced Friday that he will run for a congressional seat in a newly redrawn district in Brooklyn.

“People are hurting,” de Blasio told viewers of the program "Morning Joe" on MSNBC. "They need help, they need help fast, and they need leaders who can actually get them help now — and know how to do it. I do know how to do it from years of serving the people of this city.” 

New York’s 10th Congressional District includes parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, including the Park Slope neighborhood where de Blasio lives. Its current representative, Jerry Nadler, lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, which is now considered part of the 12th District. Nadler, a Democrat, has said he believes the new district lines are unconstitutional but that he will run for the 12th District seat if the maps drafted by a court-appointed special master are finalized by a state judge.

The maps were redrawn after ones first proposed by the state Legislature were ruled to have been gerrymandered in favor of Democrats. Friday is the deadline for the court to approve the new maps, which would likely cost Democrats some ground in this year's midterm elections. 

With Nadler out of the running, de Blasio would face off in the 10th District against New York state Senator Brad Hoylman. State Assembly members Yuh-Line Niou, who represents part of Manhattan, and Robert Carroll, of Brooklyn, have also floated the prospect of running. 

De Blasio signaled his interest in running for Congress on Twitter earlier this week. 

“I am ready to serve and continue the fight against inequality,” he wrote Wednesday, announcing that he had already formed an exploratory committee. 

De Blasio had made progressive policies like affordable housing and universal pre-kindergarten programs foundational in his mayoral campaigns. He left office with a mixed legacy, however, after doing less to achieve those policies than to burnish a long-running feud with then-Governor Andrew Cuomo.

In announcing his run for Congress, de Blasio has quashed speculation that he would take on Cuomo's successor, Governor Kathy Hochul, who stepped into office after Cuomo left office in disgrace last August

New York’s Congressional primary is set for August 23, delayed from its original date in June. 

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