Published May 22, 2013
Former Congressman Anthony Weiner has announced he is running for mayor of New York City, almost two years after resigning over a Twitter scandal.
In a video released Tuesday night, Weiner announced his candidacy for the election in November 2013, with his wife, Huma Abedin, aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and their young son Jordan, by his side.
Sources tell the New York Post the video is authentic, but said it was supposed to be released later Wednesday. The video vanished from Weiner's website and YouTube page early Wednesday.
The married Democrat resigned from Congress in 2011 after tweeting a lewd picture of himself and lying about his account being hacked. He later admitted trading inappropriate messages with several women.
Weiner touts his New York City roots in the video, describing how he grew up a "middle-class kid in Brooklyn." He says he wants to work to make the middle-class lifestyle more attainable for more New Yorkers, and references some of his accomplishments from his time in Congress, such as getting help for Sept. 11 first responders.
"Look I made some big mistakes," Weiner says in the video. "And I know I've let a lot of people down. But I've also learned some tough lessons. I'm running for mayor because I've been fighting for the middle class and those struggling to make it my entire life. And I hope I get a second chance to work for you."
The website also provided a link to Weiner's "action plan" for the city.
"These ideas are diverse, but what binds them is the help they offer to the middle class and those struggling to make it there," the introductions read. "Part of being a New Yorker is looking at problems and figuring out a better way. I put these ideas on the table to start the dialog for a better way for our great city."
Weiner acknowledged he was considering a bid for mayor in a lengthy interview with the New York Times Magazine in April.
He told the magazine his committee has dropped more than $100,000 on polling and research, as was previously shown in campaign finance reports.
Weiner said his pollster was telling him he'd be the "underdog" in a race.
"I am a bit of a polarizing case," Weiner said.
The Democrat is jumping into a crowded field for September's primary. He's arriving with some significant advantages, including a $4.8 million campaign war chest, the possibility of about $1.5 million more in public matching money, polls showing him ahead of all but one other Democrat -- and no end of name recognition.
In seeking a second chance from the public, Weiner will have to overcome some voters' misgivings. In a recent NBC New York-Marist Poll poll, half said they wouldn't even consider him, though the survey also showed that more registered Democrats now have a favorable than unfavorable impression of him.
Weiner can expect opponents to hammer at his prior prevaricating, and he said in a recent interview on the RNN cable network that he couldn't guarantee that no more pictures or people would emerge.
And while he might welcome attention to his policies rather than his past, they also have attracted some criticism. About a dozen young people recently demonstrated outside his Manhattan apartment building to denounce his proposal to make it easier to suspend disruptive public school students; "(hash)Weiner: You ask for a second chance in (hash)NYC2013 but deny students a second chance," read one sign, using Twitter's beloved hashtag marks.
Since leaving office, Weiner has put his government experience to work as a consultant for various companies.
His Democratic opponents include City Councilman Sal Albanese; Public Advocate Bill de Blasio; Comptroller John Liu; City Council Speaker Christine Quinn; the Rev. Erick Salgado, a pastor; and former Comptroller Bill Thompson.
Republican contenders include billionaire businessman John Catsimatidis, former Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joseph Lhota and homelessness-aid organization head George McDonald. Former White House housing official Aldolfo Carrion Jr., a Democrat who recently dropped his party affiliation, is running on the Independence Party line and also interested in the Republican nomination.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.