May 22nd, 2013
01:51 AM ET
2 years ago

Disgraced ex-congressman Weiner says he's running for NYC mayor

(CNN) – It’s official.

After months of speculation, former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner announced in a YouTube video posted to his campaign website late Tuesday that he is running for mayor of New York City.

“Look, I’ve made some big mistakes and I know I’ve let a lot of people down.  But I’ve also learned some tough lessons,” Weiner says in the video.  “I’m running for mayor because I’ve been fighting for the middle class and those struggling to make it for my entire life. And I hope I get a second chance to work for you.”

His campaign told CNN he does not have any events planned for Wednesday.

Now that Weiner is in the race, the Democrat will undoubtedly face questions from voters and fellow candidates about the 2011 scandal that eventually led to his resignation from Congress.

His political career was derailed after he was found sending lewd photos and messages to multiple women. At first he lied, claiming his Twitter was hacked, but he later admitted to the indiscretions and left the House of Representatives.

But the former congressman from Brooklyn says he’s hoping for a second chance, and has been not-so-quietly testing the waters about a mayoral bid in recent months.

Rumors began swirling in January, after a filing with the New York City Campaign Finance Board revealed that Weiner’s mayoral campaign committee, created ahead of his unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination in the 2005 race, had a healthy $4.5 million cash pile.

Weiner later admitted in a lengthy, repentant New York Times Magazine profile in April that he was eyeing the mayor’s race, and confirmed that his political committee had spent more than $100,000 on polling and research.

Also in April, Weiner released a detailed plan outlining his ideas for the city. Called “Keys to the City,” the document, which appears to be a reworked version of a plan Weiner released during his 2009 campaign, lays out 64 ideas to revitalize New York City’s middle class.

Weiner asks New Yorkers for feedback on his plan in his video announcement, which also features a rare appearance from his wife Huma Abedin.

A longtime aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Abedin stayed mostly silent throughout her husband’s scandal, but has been publicly expressing support for his political comeback of late.

“We love this city, and no one will work harder to make it better than Anthony,” Huma says in the video.

This will be Weiner’s third run for mayor of the Big Apple – he ran in 2005 and launched a bid in 2009, but later dropped out when the city council extended the mayor's term limits, allowing incumbent Michael Bloomberg to run again.

Two polls conducted in April indicated that Weiner would jump to second place in the race for Democratic nomination, but would still trail by double digits frontrunner Christine Quinn, the city council president.

Asked about Weiner's candidacy at a forum in New York Wednesday, Quinn wouldn't mention her new rival by name.

"This race, I don't care who's in it, is about what the candidates have done for New York's middle class and what our vision is for New York's middle class moving forward," Quinn said. "And I don't care who enters the race. Nobody has a better, stronger, clearer record of delivering for working class and middle class New Yorkers than I do, and nobody has the set of specific ideas, plans and visions like I do."

–Kevin Liptak, Ashley Killough, Paul Steinhauser and Leigh Remizowski contributed to this report. 


Filed under: Anthony Weiner
soundoff (230 Responses)
  1. Robin Jones

    Weiner's only hope is to equip himself with an arsenal of powerful anti-psychotic drugs, a 24 hour watch of skilled handlers with strong leashes, and a clever PR campaign focused on the gullible.

    May 22, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  2. zandhcats

    After gone through the hell of the Clinton's sexual scandals' and other politician', regardless the name of their party,if the guy apologized to the public and his family forgave him, and most important if he's still a "good" politician,I would say let's move on.We should consider a politician's records rather than his previous private life.

    May 22, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. Jeremy

    Everyone here is like, "Oh, I want to be political and stuff...." and I'm like "Disgraced Weiner running for office" is freaking hillarious!

    May 22, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. Peter

    This is ridiculous. Disgraced pols running for and no less WINNING election contests. Don't votes have any sense? Don't these pols have ANY sense of shame? They ought to be slinking away from public life never to return, not claiming to have seen the light and reformed. (You believe a proven liar who says they've reformed? Just how gullible are you?)

    May 22, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  5. lollol

    I wonder who would even bother donating to his campaign! just a waste of money!! millions of dollars will be spent on a campaign which could otherwise be used to fund education

    May 22, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. BCW

    If you vote for Weiner and he wins, he promises to email you all supporters a good picture of himself (head to toes) as a thank you gift. Women supporters will have two; a good one and a VERY NICE one. The Weiner cam is ready to roll.

    May 22, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. Lardoggy

    I'm sure the people will vote him back in!

    May 22, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  8. Me.

    Who care about his scandal if he has actually good political beliefs and can do a good job running the city? This just shows how many people are quick to judge based on one thing alone when there is a bigger picture here. I bet a lot of the people here throwing fits have had affairs and done things just like he did as well. And to cast shame on someone else for being as human as you is the real disgrace. Let him run, let him show us how he wants to help the city, and let us judge him and consider voting for or against him on THAT. Clinton could have gotten BJs from a million women, but I wouldn't ever let that make me deny he did a hell of a job running this country until Bush set it on fire, and would have voted for Clinton to run the country even longer if possible.

    May 22, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. cathstar

    I think it's great that he is running. He's intellectually way ahead of the rest of the candidates, who all have skeletons in their closets. If his wife forgave him, so can I.

    May 22, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. FISH FRY

    This race is becoming such a joke. I MUCH rather have Bloomberg to run for another term rather than have to choose among these jokers.

    May 22, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  11. John Geheran

    His moral compass issue aside, one of his first actions if elected Mayor will be to fire Police Commissioner Ray Kelley – for a reason I can't mention here as CNN has deemed it inappropriate.

    May 22, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  12. Vijay

    If Mark Sanford wins, why not Weiner?

    May 22, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  13. JJ

    Weiner is another sleazy, corrupt liberal Democrat to join the rogues gallery of corrupt Democrats: Bill Clinton, Ex Pres. (perjury, disbarment and impeachment), Elliott Spitzer, Ex Governor of NY (call girls), Jon Corzine, Ex Governor and Senator of NJ (fraud in collapse of MF Global), Hillary Clinton, Ex Sec. of State (perjury in Benghazi) Tim Geithner, Ex Treas Sec. (tax cheat), Rod Blagoevich, Ex Governor of IL (corruption and currently in prison), Jesse Jackson Jr., Congressman IL (campaign fraud and currently in prison), Charlie Rangel, NY Congressman (tax fraud), Maxine Waters, Congresswomen (political influence peddling), Sandy Berger, Natl. Security Advisor under Bill Clinton (theft of Natl. Archive classified documents),Ted Kennedy, Deceased Senator (manslaughter in death of Mary Jo Kopechne), John Edwards, Ex Senator, (campaign fraud) Barney Frank, Ex Congressman (gay prostitution) William Jefferson, former LA Congressman (corruption with $90K in freezer and currently in prison)......

    May 22, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  14. rick

    WOW, the weiner's worm in the BIG APPLE!!!

    May 22, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  15. George

    If Mark Sanford could win, I guess Weiner has a great chance to win.. I guess anything can happen...

    May 22, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  16. denman838

    To zandhcats: You write "We should consider a politician's records rather than his previous private life." Okay, here's his record: As a member of the US House Of Representatives, he took photograghs of his penis and sent them to more than woman who wasn't his wife. Then he repeatedly lied about it. THAT'S his record. And you want to give him another chance to hold office and make decisions on your beahlf? have you completely lost your mind?

    May 22, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  17. CryBabies

    Campaign slogan...."Wag more, Bark less" .

    May 22, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  18. okfine

    jimmyva18

    Liberal Democrats will vote for him. They have no moral compass.

    May 22, 2013 04:40 am at 4:40 am |

    -

    Tell us what kind of "moral compass" the people that voted for Mark Sanford had? Or Davit Vitter? OR John Ensign?
    Larry Craig? Mark Foley? Pete Domenici? Want more?
    Please, as an expert on moral compass, enlighten us.

    May 22, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  19. me

    Really??? Is this country so short of qualified politicians that Anthony "Look at My" Weiner is a candidate... I sure hope there are enough intelligent people in NYC to keep that freak out of office... unlike the low IQ of the majority in SC who gave power back to Mark Sanford. Politics... whether right or left... there sure is a high percentage of weirdos within their ranks!

    May 22, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  20. DustyOnes

    Who would want a Weiner for a Mayor?

    May 22, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  21. Ordinary Average American

    Surely the people of NYC will not vote this man into the office of Mayor! He's already proven how unprofessional he is and he's the last thing New York City (or any other city) needs! We need to demand integrity from our leaders and, without it, they aren't qualified to fill any government position of authority!

    May 22, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  22. Malory Archer

    Lardoggy

    I'm sure the people will vote him back in!

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    You would be incorrect.

    May 22, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  23. Mel

    Sadly, Weiner will probably get elected. Another creep to replace the last creep.

    May 22, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  24. Tony

    I will vote for him i will never vote for a republican.

    May 22, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  25. Michael Andrew Ruzicho

    Honestly it is going to be hard to run against Bloomberg period. Bloomberg has enough status to run for Senator, Governor, or even President. Good Luck Weiner! Everyone makes mistakes thats life.

    May 22, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
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