NYC City Council Speaker Corey Johnson has dropped out of the race to succeed Mayor Bill De Blasio.
Said Johnson in his announcement: “I have made the difficult decision not to run. This challenging time has led me to rethink how I can best be of service to this city, and I have come to the conclusion that this is not the right path for me. … I want to be clear that my decision to end this campaign is not the end of my public life. I will continue serving as speaker of the City Council and working to improve the lives of New Yorkers. I love this city with all my heart and I believe by working together, we will come back stronger than ever.”
Johnson also added that he has been suffering from depression: “I’ve been open about my sobriety, which along with my partner and mother, has been instrumental to me during this difficult time. I believe it’s important to be open about this as well. Too often mental health issues are shrouded in secrecy and stigmas, which causes people struggling with these issues to feel alone. I encourage anyone who is experiencing a mental health condition to seek help. I did and am better for it.”
The NYT reports: “Earlier this year, Mr. Johnson, who is white, was considered to be among three leading candidates to replace Mr. de Blasio. The others were Eric Adams, the borough president of Brooklyn who is Black, and the city comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, who is white. But as the coronavirus killed 24,000 people in New York City and the civil unrest hit the streets, Mr. Johnson’s challenge of getting 51 Council members to act together became more draining, and the idea of being mayor held less appeal, say those close to Mr. Johnson.”
The NY Daily News adds: “In spite of a brutal year for Johnson, insiders say he shouldn’t be counted out yet. Congress and the state Senate are viewed as future possibilities for the speaker.”