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. coyoteliberty

    Just what the Democrats need...A candidate to make Christine Quinn look respectable!

    May 22, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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."

    Based on GOPerville comments thus far, the Grand Old Party hasn't yet come to fully understand its own hypocrisy of SC having elected Mark Sanford back into public office.

    Not the folks who are themselves not quite mature enough to fully realize the complications of having Sanford represent them and their party anyway. Reading their comments is enlightening, to say the least.

    As for Mr. Weiner? He is not someone I would vote for.

    May 22, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  3. Malory Archer

    Funny how none of CNN's headlines ever referred to the lying, cheating, thieving adulturing career politician from South Carolina as "disgraced". So much for the myth of the "librul" media.

    May 22, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  4. Lord Toronaga

    Dork. Next. But King Bloomberg has to go. Take a Big Gulp with ya.

    May 22, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  5. carolyn thomas

    Looks like akk the disgraced crazys are making a come back,one has already been elected ,mostly because his wife stuck by him so he got the votes in her honor,what a joke all around on both parties.

    May 22, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  6. Malory Archer


    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?


    That "kid" was an adult college student and she's probably seen much more than that elsewhere.

    May 22, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  7. Don in Auburn

    He is a narcissist and a sociopath who will give lip service to the idea that he is sorry for what he did but he is only really sorry that he got caught. He certainly does not really feel he did anything wrong, ether the sexting messages or the attempted cover-up. But city politics can be strange. Big city mayors have been elected or re-elected after being caught in outrageous misconduct. One example is Marion Barry who got re-elected as Mayor of Washington DC after being imprisoned on Federal Felony convictions for narcotics dealing and use.

    May 22, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  8. mco

    Not that I am a fan of him, but he would be a significant upgrade over Christine Quinn, the current leader in the polls. Quinn made a back room deal with Mayor Bloomberg in 2008, which allowed him to go beyond the 8 year term limit and into a 3rd term. Anyone but her will be who I vote for.

    May 22, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  9. Dyan S

    So wait Mark Sanford can do it but nobody else can? Come on now this is ridiculous. This is why our political system is the way it is because of citizens that are simply put morons.

    May 22, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  10. TheCraigness

    First off, I live in Queens NYC in the 9th district. That was MY congressman and have met him many times. I will not vote for him because he outright lied. He is however more than qualified professionally to run this city better than anyone. Period. I love the way the headline starts off with the word "Disgraced". Talk about right-wing news. This is worse than fox. Why not start it off with something pertaining to the facts like "ex-congressman" or "scandal stricken". Those are facts, not opinions. CNN needs to keep it's eye on the middle ground. Not to the right or left and defiantly not forcing it's political views on the public. This is NOT ENGLAND!

    May 22, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  11. Newport Pagnell

    Hahahahaha. NY you deserve him. Hilarious!

    May 22, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  12. Malory Archer


    This is comedy gold. Sadly, John Stewart and the Daily Show are unlikely to mine it for all it's worth. Pity.

    "Oh my Mayor has a first name...."

    In the name of heaven, New Yorkers, if you have ANY self respect left, run from this one. Do you seriously want to hold your city leaders to the same non-existent standard that South Carolina & Louisiana voters use so regularly?



    May 22, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  13. ItsAMirage

    Love you Reps!!!! I mean you guys re-elected Sanford! I mean, cheated on wife, destroy his family, lied, visit his "girl" in Argentina....

    But that's ok right...he is one of you 🙂

    By the way, I really haven't seeing any major Dem support for the "Weinner". See that's the diff between us Dems and your typical Reps. Us Dems really don't support politicians like "Weinner" or that cheating lying Sanford.

    May 22, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. BaltoPaul

    Some days the headlines write themselves.

    May 22, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  15. wny

    And all you self righteous people have not made mistakes, God made you perfect. Sanford made is mistakes and SC voted him back.

    May 22, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  16. Wake up People!

    Run Weiner Run!! If Sanford can do it so can you.

    If only the dems had half the ballz the repos do.....

    I don't live in NY, but I do visit and I can't stand Bloomberg.

    May 22, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. MS

    If Mark Sanford can win, why not Weiner?

    May 22, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  18. Ej

    Dems got Weiner, Republicans got Sanford. People don't go into politics because they have integrity and voters don't have any more principles that the losers they vote for.

    May 22, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  19. Gwen

    I would vote for him ...

    May 22, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  20. Lewy

    Election year 2016 Democratic Party dream ticket: Weiner – Holder.

    May 22, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  21. Bill

    "This should not be a surprise to anyone, this is a Democrat, and when Democrats commit crimes of any kind that would put a tax payer in jail, they only get elected or promoted. Now this has been demonstrated over and over with Democrats on more than one occasion."

    Mark Sanford is a Democrat? Wow!

    May 22, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  22. Flashman

    If the voters don't recognize the face, perhaps he can drop trousers at campaign rallies...

    May 22, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  23. johnk

    New York, if you elect this guy you should all have your heads examined, and go into therapy.

    May 22, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  24. Evangenital

    I will vote for him, he is a fighter. And of course, I hate Quinn.

    May 22, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  25. Hamburger Jones

    "Liberal Democrats will vote for him. They have no moral compass." We threw him out already. He's all yours. And you have the nerve to talk about morals while your boys in Oklahoma try to explain why they deserve aid more than New Jersey did?

    May 22, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
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