NEW YORK — Two years after resigning from Congress in a lewd photo scandal, former US Representative Anthony Weiner announced in a video message early today he is running for New York City mayor.
“I made some big mistakes and I know I let a lot of people down, but I also learned some tough lessons,” Weiner said in the video. “I’m running because I’ve been fighting for the middle class and those struggling to make it my entire life.”
The announcement promises to shake up the race to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg nearly four months before the September 10 Democratic primary, though recent polls suggest Weiner faces an uphill battle.
A Quinnipiac University poll also released today found Weiner in second place with 15 per cent of the vote, trailing City Council Speaker Christine Quinn by ten points. The poll also found that nearly half of city voters say Weiner should not enter the race for mayor, while 38 per cent of voters want to see him run.
Public Advocate and former city Comptroller Bill Thompson both followed with 10 per cent and John Liu, the current city Comptroller, with six per cent.
Weiner’s resignation in June of 2011 marked a remarkable fall from grace for a politician who was seen as a leading liberal voice in the US House of Representatives and had been widely expected to run in this year’s race for mayor.
His fall was prompted when Weiner accidentally posted a close-up of his underpants on Twitter. Weiner, then 46, denied for more than a week that he had sent the photo and intended it for a young woman, claiming instead that his @repweiner Twitter account had been hacked.
After several women came forward to say they too had shared sexually charged exchanges with the married congressman, Weiner admitted he had lied. (Reuters)