New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is officially running for president, defying deep voter opposition at home to enter the crowded field with an unabashed message of progressivism.
De Blasio launched his website Thursday morning and made the announcement in a three-minute campaign video titled "Working People First."
"There's plenty of money in this world. There's plenty of money in this country. It's just in the wrong hands," De Blasio says in the video, which touts his accomplishments bringing universal pre-K, paid sick leave and a $15 minimum wage to the city. "I'm running for president because it's time we put working people first."
De Blasio refers to President Donald Trump as a "bully" and says he must be stopped. The president was quick to respond, tweeting early Thursday, "The Dems are getting another beauty to join their group."
"Bill de Blasio of NYC, considered the worst mayor in the U.S., will supposedly be making an announcement for president today," Trump tweeted nearly two hours after the announcement was official on YouTube. "He is a JOKE, but if you like high taxes & crime, he's your man. NYC HATES HIM!"
He will later be traveling to Iowa to headline an event in Sioux City, which local Democrats are calling the "first stop on his presidential announcement tour." The mayor will then head to South Carolina for the weekend.
De Blasio joins a Democratic field with almost two dozen other candidates.
In mounting a bid, the mayor is essentially ignoring the voters who overwhelmingly elected him to City Hall twice. An April 3 Quinnipiac poll found 76 percent of New York City voters opposed the idea of him running for the White House.
Even in his most traditionally loyal demographics — black voters and voters in the Bronx — seven out of every 10 were against the idea of him running for president.
De Blasio becomes the first sitting mayor of New York City to run for president since John Lindsay's brief run in 1972. (Rudy Giuliani ran for president after his term as mayor ended, and Michael Bloomberg flirted with a run but never formally launched a campaign.)
De Blasio is the city's 109th mayor, coming into office in 2014, and has been a progressive voice on certain issues including early childhood education, immigration reform and voting rights.
He was born on May 8, 1961 in Manhattan and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is a graduate of New York University and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and began his career in public service in 1989 as part of David N. Dinkins’ mayoral campaign.
De Blasio went on to serve as regional director at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; as a school board member for Brooklyn School District 15; and as head of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2000 campaign for the U.S. Senate.
In 2002, he joined the New York City Council, representing Brooklyn’s 39th district. He was subsequently elected Public Advocate in 2009.
De Blasio follows other tri-state Democrats running for president, including New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.