Anthony Weiner hits the campaign trail - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Anthony Weiner hits the campaign trail

Posted: Updated:
Anthony Weiner meets commuters outside the 125th subway station in Harlem on May 23, 2013. (photo: Stacey Delikat) Anthony Weiner meets commuters outside the 125th subway station in Harlem on May 23, 2013. (photo: Stacey Delikat)

NEW YORK (AP) -- However Anthony Weiner does when the polls close, he's certain to add drama to the most competitive New York City mayor's race in more than a decade.

As the scandal-lashed former congressman got ready for a first round of campaign events Thursday, his arrival in the race was being met with a mix of polite greetings, blowback and bring-it-on bravado from his now-rivals. Average New Yorkers were at no loss for opinions, either.

Weiner said he knows his run will be an uphill one, but he wants to bring his ideas into the race -- and win.

"I think I have something to contribute. And I think that it's up to New Yorkers to decide whether I get a second chance or not, and I hope the answer's yes," the Democrat said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

After about a month of maybes, Weiner officially launched his comeback campaign with a video posted online late Tuesday, about two years after a series of tawdry tweets, and obfuscating explanations, capsized his promising congressional career.

Weiner, who ran for mayor in 2005 and nearly did in 2009, is getting into the race to succeed three-term Mayor Michael Bloomberg less than four months before the Democratic primary. He's arriving with a $4.8 million campaign war chest and possibly $1 million more in public matching money, a resume that includes seven terms in Congress, polls showing him ahead of all but one other Democrat and certainly no end of name recognition.

His participation makes a Democratic primary runoff more likely, and many political observers feel he could at least get to the second round. A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found Weiner getting 15 percent of the Democratic primary vote, behind City Council Speaker Christine Quinn at 25 percent.

Elizabeth Fasolino, for one, is ready to give Weiner a chance to win her vote.

"He's made atonement," the Manhattanite said Wednesday. "I think he has the best interest of New York City voters in mind, the middle class especially."

But 49 percent of city voters in the Quinnipiac poll said Weiner shouldn't even run.

"If you're so indiscreet in your personal life, what are you going to be in your political life?" city resident Gale Sorel said Wednesday.

Weiner said he realizes that "this is going to be a difficult slog, and I'm going to have to have a lot of difficult conversations with people along the way."

Even if some won't consider giving him their vote, he said, "I hope at least some of the ideas penetrate, and it changes some of the conversations," said Weiner, who planned to greet commuters at a subway station and participate in a candidate forum Thursday.

He's positioning himself as a champion for the middle class and those working to get there. His proposals range from creating a city-run, single-payer health system for the uninsured -- he'd use Medicaid money to pay for it -- to sending vans to shopping centers so business owners needn't trek to city offices to contest fines.

Some opponents said they welcomed him to the race, including Democratic former City Comptroller William Thompson, whose campaign used Weiner's arrival as a jumping-off point for a fundraising email. Former White House official Aldolfo Carrion Jr., who's unaffiliated with any party but secured the Independence Party's ballot line, said he'll be "ready for him in November" if Weiner makes it to the general election.

Democratic former City Councilman Sal Albanese and Republican John Catsimatidis both rapped Weiner as a "career politician." Republican George McDonald complained that by seeking matching funds, Weiner "wants to rehab his tarnished reputation at the expense of taxpayers."

Quinn said Weiner's run "doesn't change my perspective or plan in this race at all."

Weiner was known in Washington as an energetic, skilled politician and a sharp Democratic voice, ready to fight for the party's views whether on the House floor or cable TV.

His downfall unfolded after a photo of a man's bulging, underwear-clad groin appeared on Weiner's Twitter account in 2011. He initially claimed his account had been hacked. But after more photos emerged, including one of him bare-chested in his congressional office, the married congressman eventually owned up to exchanging racy messages with several women, saying he'd never met any of them. He soon resigned.

He has said he shouldn't have lied but wanted to keep the truth from his then-pregnant wife, Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Abedin has said she has forgiven him, a message reified in a campaign announcement video that opened with the two feeding their toddler son, Jordan.

For Weiner's campaign, it's key to "be extremely honest and demonstrate that the most important person in his life has forgiven him," in the hopes that voters will also, Pace University political scientist Gregory Julian said.

Weiner's announcement follows another high-profile story of rapid political redemption: Former Republican Gov. Mark Sanford, whose extramarital affair derailed his political career in 2009, returned to Congress last week.

Since leaving office, Weiner has put his government experience to work as a consultant for various companies.

Weiner's Democratic opponents also include Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Comptroller John Liu and the Rev. Erick Salgado. Republican contenders also include former Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joe Lhota.

------

Associated Press video journalist Joseph Frederick and radio correspondent Julie Walker contributed to this report.

 

------

 

Follow Jennifer Peltz at http://twitter.com/jennpeltz

  • Manhattan NewsManhattan NewsMore>>

  • 2 U.S. marshals, 1 NYPD detective shot in Manhattan

    2 U.S. marshals, 1 NYPD detective shot in Manhattan

    Monday, July 28 2014 2:32 PM EDT2014-07-28 18:32:05 GMT
    Two deputy U.S. marshals, an NYPD detective, and a sexual assault suspect have been shot in a shootout in lower Manhattan, officials said. Speaking at a news conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the marshals and cop were taken to a local hospital with apparently non-life threatening injuries.
    Two deputy U.S. marshals, an NYPD detective, and a sexual assault suspect have been shot in a shootout in lower Manhattan, officials said. Speaking at a news conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the marshals and cop were taken to a local hospital with apparently non-life threatening injuries.
  • Mayor, family move into Gracie Mansion

    Mayor, family move into Gracie Mansion

    Monday, July 28 2014 7:51 AM EDT2014-07-28 11:51:30 GMT
    It's home, sweet new home for Mayor Bill de Blasio and his family. The mayor, his wife and two children spent their first night in Gracie Mansion on Sunday. The De Blasios returned from a vacation in Italy Sunday afternoon.
    It's home, sweet new home for Mayor Bill de Blasio and his family. The mayor, his wife and two children spent their first night in Gracie Mansion on Sunday. The De Blasios returned from a vacation in Italy Sunday afternoon. De Blasio had spent some time debating whether to move out of his family's home in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, but the family ultimately decided to make the shift.
  • 'Spider-man' slugs cop in Times Square

    'Spider-man' slugs cop in Times Square

    Monday, July 28 2014 7:01 AM EDT2014-07-28 11:01:40 GMT
    A man dressed as Spider-Man was arraigned on charges he punched a police officer who told him to stop harassing tourists in Time Square. Junior Bishop, 25, faces charges of assault, criminal mischief, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Police say the officer interceded after Bishop demanded at least $5 from a woman he posed for a picture with, instead of the $1 she offered.
    A man dressed as Spider-Man was arraigned on charges he punched a police officer who told him to stop harassing tourists in Time Square. Junior Bishop, 25, faces charges of assault, criminal mischief, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Police say the officer interceded after Bishop demanded at least $5 from a woman he posed for a picture with, instead of the $1 she offered.
Powered by WorldNow

KDFW FOX 4
400 N. Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas 75202

Main Station Directory:
(214) 720-4444
News Fax:
(214) 720-3263 or (214) 720-3333

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices