Bill de Blasio heads to New Hampshire this weekend, fueling 2020 talk

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is headed this weekend to the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House, fueling speculation that the two-term progressive mayor of America’s largest city is seriously considering a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

De Blasio’s political team announced late Tuesday night that the mayor and his wife, Chirlane McCray, would spend Saturday afternoon in Manchester, and on Sunday travel to Claremont, the birthplace of McCray’s mother.

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A release from de Blasio’s team added that “more stops may be added. A full schedule for the trip will be released later this week.”

The trip to New Hampshire follows a visit last month to Iowa, the state that votes first in the presidential caucus and primary calendar. And last weekend, de Blasio and his wife traveled to South Carolina, the state that holds the first southern primary along the road to the White House.

De Blasio planned a Feb. 15 visit to the Granite State, but canceled after the fatal shooting of a New York City police officer earlier that week. But he did travel to Massachusetts to speak at a forum at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics on Feb. 14.

Last month, the mayor told New York City reporters “I’m not ruling it out” when asked about his 2020 intentions.

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De Blasio’s predecessor at City Hall in New York, former three-term Mayor Mike Bloomberg, announced last week that he would not run for the Democratic nomination after seriously considering a bid. Bloomberg made a two-day campaign-style swing through New Hampshire in late January, as he was weighing a 2020 run.

If de Blasio runs, he would enter a crowded field of candidates.

Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York have launched bids.

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, and former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who served as Housing and Urban Development secretary under President Barack Obama, are also running, as are Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland, and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

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A number of other Democrats are moving toward White House bids, including former Vice President Joe Biden, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas, and Rep. Eric Swalwell of California.