As the 2020 presidential primary heats up, many New York City cyclists are calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to abandon his struggling campaign in favor of addressing problems at the local level — including a rash of deaths on bikes in his city.
The Democrat, who launched his bid for the White House this past May, has been stuck in the low single digits in the polls, as calls for him to drop out of the race have grown louder.
“Mr. Mayor, I know you’re running for president,” Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said at the rally. "Please stop running, come back home.”
“Nineteen cyclists have died,” he added. “So many pedestrians have died. There are so many issues here in New York City that you have to deal with. Come back home. We have a lot of work to do.”
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Critics have said de Blasio was shirking his duties as mayor to pursue his long-shot bid and the presidency. He claimed most voters will make their actual decision closer to Election Day.
"There is not, in the end I think, a sense among Democratic voters that they are secure where they want to go. The vast majority of Democratic voters are going to make their decision late," he told CNN on Tuesday.
De Blasio has yet to qualify for the next Democratic debate on September 12.
He also took heat from the New York Daily News opinion section, which published a piece on Sunday urging the mayor to get back to work.
"It looks like Bill de Blasio, nowhere at all in the national polls… is about done serving as mayor of New York City, and that we’re set for a couple more years on autopilot — assuming no crash — before an actual leader can take the wheel," columnist Harry Siegel wrote.