[Where does Bill de Blasio stand on the issues? Find out here.]
Mr. de Blasio often says he has a "story to tell" about New York's accomplishments, but his own story is also compelling. He was born Warren Wilhelm Jr. of a German-American father and an Italian-American mother; his father, a veteran who fought against alcoholism, later committed suicide. His relationship with his father was tense and Blasio finally took his mother's last name.
Raised in Massachusetts, Mr. de Blasio studied at New York University and became a left-wing activist admiring the ruling Sandinista party in Nicaragua. He later campaigned for Hillary Clinton and Charles B. Rangel, before running for office, winning the election to become city councilor, attorney and mayor of New York City.
He is married to Chirlane McCray, who led ThriveNYC, the city's mental health initiative; they have two children and the notoriety of their biracial family, especially their son Afro Dante, played an important role in his 2013 mayoral campaign.
Some of Mr. de Blasio's colleagues scoffed at the idea of his presidency and urged him to give up his exploration of the White House occupation and focus on a host of thorny issues in New York, such levels of roaming and subways in trouble. De Blasio said that in the nation's capital, many of the city's problems were 200 miles beyond its borders.
"I'm afraid that right now our federal government is not helping New York City in many ways and that bad Washington policies are hurting us all the time," Blasio said at a conference. press release month. He cited the lack of a national plan for infrastructure and fractured health policies. "So we need real change in our country," he said. "If that does not happen, the city of New York continues to suffer."
The mayor will face a huge fundraising disadvantage as he trains field staff and fills an apparently insurmountable void in the polls. In a survey of the University of Monmouth last month, Mr. de Blasio had a net propensity of zero: 24% like him, 24% do not like it. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is the only candidate to show a higher rate of unfavorability, 26%, but his favorability rate was 67%.