Anthony Weiner has announced his candidacy for New York City mayor with a campaign video posted to YouTube, days after NBC 4 New York exclusively spotted the former congressman shooting part of the video on the stoop of his childhood home in Brooklyn.
"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 says in the two-minute, 16-second video posted late Tuesday night, acknowledging the sexting scandal that forced him to resign his congressional seat two years ago.
"I'm running for mayor because I've been fighting for the middle class and those struggling to make it my entire life," he continues. "And I hope I get a second chance to work for you."
A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found that if Weiner jumped into the race, he would get 15 percent of Democratic votes, putting him in second place behind City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, with 25 percent. Neither comes close to the 40 percent needed to avoid a runoff. The survey of 701 Democrats was taken May 14 through Monday and has a plus or minus 3.7 percentage point margin of error.
Weiner did not make any public appearances on Wednesday. His rivals, when asked about the new candidate joining the field, had mixed reactions.
"Why should I talk about anybody but myself? I'm the one running for mayor here," said Quinn.
Former Comptroller Bill Thompson said simply: "welcome aboard," while his successor, John Liu, said: "Honestly, I won't be voting for him."
The campaign video, which opens with a shot of Weiner, his wife, Huma Abedin, and their toddler son in their home, highlights Weiner's upbringing in Brooklyn and his parents' backgrounds as a public school teacher and lawyer.
Timeline: Anthony Weiner Sexting Scandal
Weiner lists rent, job security, education, public safety and business regulations as citywide problems he wants to tackle. He ticks off congressional victories like securing money to put more police on the streets, getting sick 9/11 responders financial help, and leading the campaign for health reform.
In the closing shots of the video, captured by NBC 4 New York in Park Slope last Thursday, Weiner, sitting alongside Abedin, says "New York City should be the middle class capital of the world."
Abedin, who was pregnant with their son when the sexting scandal broke in May 2011, adds, "We love this city, and no one will work harder to make it better than Anthony."
The Park Slope home is where Weiner launched his bid for mayor in 2005, and where he later announced that fall he was stepping aside in order to avoid a divisive primary runoff.
Weiner first revealed he was weighing a 2013 run for mayor last month in a New York Times Magazine story that detailed his efforts to repair his marriage. He has also hired a campaign manager, according to Politico, and has released a policy booklet.
Weiner ran for mayor in 2005, and nearly forced a runoff against Fernando Ferrer, but conceded in the name of party solidarity. He planned to run again in 2009, and was considered a leading contender, but dropped out after Mayor Bloomberg chose to run for a third term.
Prior to his unraveling, Weiner had begun to plan for a 2013 campaign. He still has more than $4 million in his campaign account.