Anthony Weiner, the former U.S. congressman who resigned in 2011 over lewd online behavior, hired a campaign manager and is likely to announce his run for New York mayor next week, according to Politico.
Weiner, 48, hired Daniel Kedem, a former campaign adviser affiliated with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Washington-based news website said, citing two people familiar with the situation that weren’t identified.
“I definitely have to decide soon,” Weiner told Newsday reporters outside his Manhattan home today, according to the newspaper. “People have a right to be skeptical, and hopefully if I run, they’ll get a chance to judge me based on the issues.”
The Democrat, who is polling second in the mayor’s race and served 12 years in the House of Representatives, raised the possibility of a mayoral run in an April New York Times Magazine interview. He has about $4.3 million in campaign funds from an aborted 2009 run for the Democratic mayoral nomination.
“Most people involved in city politics have believed he would run, and with the first days of petition gathering set for June 4, Weiner has to set up a field operation,” said George Arzt, a political consultant not involved with this year’s mayoral race. “Once you start hiring people, that’s really the same as announcing.”
Weiner didn’t respond to e-mailed requests for comment on his plans. Kedem, who worked on the failed 2012 Staten Island congressional race of Democrat Mark Murphy, didn’t respond to e-mails and telephone calls seeking comment.
Kedem’s name doesn’t appear in expenses Weiner listed in a city campaign financial disclosure statement today. The report covers a period from March 12 through May 11.
To qualify for a position on the ballot in the Sept. 10 primary election, state law requires citywide candidates to collect 3,750 voter signatures on petitions during a period that begins June 4 and ends July 11, said Valerie Vazquez, a spokeswoman for the city Board of Elections.
A Marist College poll released last month showed Weiner running second among Democratic candidates for mayor, even though he hadn’t entered the race.
Weiner was favored by 15 percent of 556 registered Democrats polled by telephone April 11-15, behind City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who got 26 percent, the survey showed. He told the New York Times last month that he may re-enter politics and join the race to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP. Term limits prevent the mayor from running again.
Other Democratic candidates in the poll included Comptroller John Liu, with 12 percent; Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former Comptroller William Thompson, tied at 11 percent; and former City Councilman Sal Albanese, with 2 percent. Undecided voters made up 22 percent of respondents. Democrats outnumber Republicans by 6-to-1 in New York City.
Half of Democrats surveyed say they wouldn’t consider voting for Weiner. The poll of Democrats had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.
Weiner’s resignation came after he said that he engaged in “inappropriate conversations” with six women over the previous three years, including by e-mail and telephone and on the websites of Facebook Inc. (FB) and Twitter Inc.
He had publicly denied sending a racy photograph of himself to a Seattle woman using Twitter.com, saying his account was hacked. The photo showed a man from the waist down in gray underwear.
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