Anthony Weiner resigned from Congress in 2011 after admitting he sent lewd photos of himself to women.
(Photo: Seth Wenig, AP)
(USA TODAY) -- Former congressman Anthony Weiner officially jumped into the race for New York City mayor, ending weeks of speculation by declaring his political comeback bid in a YouTube video posted late Tuesday.
"I am running for mayor because I have 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," Weiner said.
The Democrat resigned from the U.S. House in disgrace in 2011 after sending lewd photos of himself to women via Twitter. He revealed in a New York Times Magazine interview last month that he was thinking of a political comeback and had commissioned polling on the mayor's race.
Weiner made a direct appeal in the video for a second chance.
"Look, I made some big mistakes. And I know I let a lot of people down. But I've also learned some tough lessons," Weiner said in the video, which also features his wife, Huma Abedin and son, Jordan.
Weiner recently returned to Twitter and has been sending out links to his 64-point plan to help New York City's middle class. He's also done several local TV interviews and hired Danny Kedem, a Democrat strategist who has run campaigns for Congress, to manage his mayoral bid.
Abedin. a former top aide to Hillary Rodham Clinton, declares the couple's love for New York City in the video and vows that "no one will work harder to make it better" than her husband.
Weiner's entry into the race will upend a campaign that has been going on for months. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has been leading in public opinion polls for the job, but Weiner has been coming in behind her in the race for the Democratic nomination. The party primaries are in September.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent, is term limited and cannot run again.
Weiner, a former City Council member, ran for mayor in 2005 but lost the Democratic primary nomination to Fernando Ferrer. He intended to run again in 2009 and was leading early public opinion polls. When the council changed the city's term limits law and Bloomberg ran again, Weiner abandoned his mayoral bid at that time and returned to Congress.
Weiner has about $4.3 million in his old mayoral campaign account and can use that money for this year's race.