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Hakeem Jeffries for New York Mayor? Some Democrats Say Yes, but He Hesitates

Posted by New Leaders Council 4 Admin on September 05, 2015 at 5:05 PM

Originally published in The New York Times on September 3, 2015 by Alexander Burns.

The calls have come in a steady stream: from political donors, community leaders and members of the clergy, urging Representative Hakeem Jeffries to consider running against Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York.

The latest, high-profile overture to Mr. Jeffries came from William C. Thompson Jr., a former city comptroller who in 2013 was the runner-up for the Democratic mayoral nomination. Mr. Thompson recently told Mr. Jeffries that he viewed the congressman as the strongest black candidate who could run against the mayor in 2017 — and one of only two Democrats, along with Scott M. Stringer, the current comptroller, able to mount a real challenge to Mr. de Blasio.

As he has done with all other suitors so far, Mr. Jeffries, 45, demurred. But the continuing interest in the congressman’s future signaled his emerging role in New York politics, as a powerful magnet for the mayor’s opponents and possibly — if Mr. Jeffries changes his mind — a genuine threat to Mr. de Blasio’s re-election.

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