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Mayor de Blasio says he may drop out of presidential race in October

2019-09-06

In this file photo, Mayor Bill De Blasio talks to the press on August 2, 2019. (Jesse Ward/for New York Daily News)

The mayor’s struggling presidential campaign is bracing for an October demise.

The fall TV primary debates may be do-or-die for Mayor de Blasio’s long-shot presidential campaign – and that can’t come soon enough for his day job.

Hizzoner suggested Wednesday that he would likely suspend his bid for the White House if he doesn’t land a spot on the debate stage next month after devoting mere hours on official business on workdays in May.

“When someone has an office and they run for another office, you’re going to put time into your campaign while doing your current office,” de Blasio said of his light schedule an at unrelated press conference at police headquarters. “That’s what I’ve been doing. You just make choices."

De Blasio chose to spend just 91.5 hours, an average of 4.1 hours per workday, doing official business in May, the month he launched his campaign, according to an analysis of schedules by The Daily News editorial board.

But the mayor won’t have to decide which to prioritize for much longer — he may drop out of the presidential race if he doesn’t make next month’s debates.

De Blasio has until 11:59 p.m. Oct. 1 to meet polling and fundraising thresholds to make the cut. The same qualifications were place for next week’s debates, which he’s missing, though the mayor said he hopes another month of polling and fundraising will put him on stage in mid-October.

“I wanted to get into the September debates, that wasn’t possible,” de Blasio said. “The logical thing to say is…I’m going to go and try to get into the October debates and if I can then I think that’s a good reason to keep going forward and if I can’t I think it’s really tough to conceive of continuing.”

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A timeline of Bill de Blasio’s career in New York City politics

To get in both the September and October debates, candidates had to earn at least 2% in four separate national or early-state polls. Their campaigns also had to have 130,000 unique donors and 400 individual contributors per state in at least 20 states.

De Blasio consistently polls around zero to 1% and had only about 6,700 individual donors as of June 30, when the most recent federal campaign filing period ended. He only made debates in June and July because the thresholds were far lower.

The mayor wouldn’t estimate how much of his time is spent trying to breathe life into his campaign.

“It’s a lot of time on everything — it’s just nonstop work,” he said.

Schedules show that de Blasio worked 34% fewer hours this May than last. With a full-time salary of $258,750 a year, he earned about $236 for each and every hour he worked. The mayor dismissed a question about whether his salary should be prorated based on how many hours he works in the city.

And he insisted he works from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on most days.

“This is a job that requires energy and attention every hour of every day and that’s what I do. There’s countless phone calls countless emails checking in on all different leaders of different agencies and folks at City Hall,” he said. “It shows up in different ways on calendars. A calendar only tells you one piece”