May 22nd, 2013
01:51 AM ET
10 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. rabbitcommarogerindyreader

    The ONE and only good thing about Mark Sanford getting back into office recently is that now no Republican has a leg to stand on to whine about Bill Clinton again. Never. All the "family-values" and "morality" positions were hypocritical and self-serving all along, but re-electing Sanford – whose actual actions were pretty clearly more deceptive to the public than Clinton's – put the last nail in that coffin. Weiner probably won't get elected, and presuming not, that'll draw the last piece of the picture.

    May 22, 2013 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  2. Pulling a Sanford

    Its great to see Huma actually buy in to the farce which is her husband, virtually guaranteeing she too will be destroyed by the "huma-illiation."

    Unlike her boss, who has made s stunning success out of the wreckage of her husband's transgressions, this one is guaranteed to lead to complete disaster. After all, "Clinton" is not another word for "penis," and Bill didn't send pictures of his "Clinton" all over the world.

    Its also a stunning betrayal of the Democratic party. From now on, everyone will be able to say, "Yeah, republicans started two needless, worthless, wars which cost $8 trillion and killed hundreds of thousands. But Weiner is a Dem."

    May 22, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  3. Stormy

    Weiner.... New York...... Clinton.....New York...... Bloomberg......New York..... yeah this all makes perfect sense 🙂 New York has the worst voters in the US. They deserve each other, along with bans, and insulting laughter of the rest of the world.

    May 22, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  4. Noah

    the man is a sexual pervert and a fine choice for the dems!

    May 22, 2013 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  5. Jimmyjam048

    If the adulator, liar and thief Mark Sanford can get elected in SC , shirtless Tony deserves forgiveness too.

    May 22, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  6. Mark

    Will Tony Wiener be appealing to the "bulge bracket" demographic?

    May 22, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  7. angellovef

    He can't even manage a Twitter account, and he wants to run NYC?

    May 22, 2013 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  8. Andrew

    Good for him. He is smart and has a lot to contribute.

    May 22, 2013 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  9. Scott

    Sanford from S.C. just got voted back in to public office – now this clown Weiner is running for mayor of NYC ? You can't make this stuff up. And we wonder why the country is in the shape it is. Two loser's & liar's !!

    May 22, 2013 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  10. Hamburger Jones

    If I had a disgraced weiner, I would run away instead of for office. What part of "shame on you" does this guy not get? Maybe he should run as a GOP family-values candidate?

    May 22, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  11. Fed Up With Politicians

    Yeah he made a mistake, a BIG ONE but seriously a penis pic isn't something to hold over somebody until the end of time. He'd probably do well, better than emperor Bloomberg anyway

    May 22, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  12. Nick

    Weiner, you are a sick freak and you are not qualified for being the mayor of NYC!

    May 22, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  13. Brad

    Don't live in New York so not really my business, but don't know why anyone would want a liar running for office. When you or I lie, nobody really gets hurt for the most part. When elected officials lie, millions can get hurt and wars can be started.

    May 22, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  14. Bethes

    He would be a perfect match for the City.

    May 22, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  15. Dave

    Everyone who votes for him gets a nude

    May 22, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  16. Dr9Love

    "But I’ve also learned some tough lessons"
    Let us hope that the NY citizens have also learned a lesson when they vote.

    May 22, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  17. John Vance

    I don't know if Rep Weiner will be successful or not, people can be forgiving. Certainly younger people are more likely to overlook his mishap since many of them have been involved in misadventurous sexting themselves.

    May 22, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  18. croco3

    There's more to a man/woman than his/her mistakes.
    Those who succeed are not the ones who don't have weaknesses; they are the best at hiding them!

    May 22, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  19. Odo

    Well given the freak show of cheaters the GOP allows to remain employed (Sanford, Vitter, DeJarlais) they have NO room to talk about someone who merely texted....

    May 22, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  20. BigSir

    Seize the day, third times the charm, can't keep a good man down...what is it he is telling himself?

    May 22, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  21. Thomas

    To bad for NY , He will win .

    Last week he wasn't sure , the guy knew he was going to run since September . He has the big buck from big donors .

    May 22, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  22. dragonfire77

    (Don't) Play it again, Tony...

    May 22, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  23. John

    Is that him in the pic? He owns cloths?

    May 22, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  24. Jim

    Disgrace is in the eye of the beholder.

    May 22, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  25. tagapay3

    Mayor Weiner? ... as in ... Oscar Mayor Weiner? The guy who lied effortlessly on every talk show, then admitted sending a picture of his Boehner to that kid?
    Campaign Slogan: "Hey, it's no worse than Marian Barry!"

    May 22, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
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