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Bill de Blasio's reportedly possible run for New York governor: 'Osama bin Laden is probably more popular'

Outgoing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has begun privately telling people he's planning a run for state governor next year, The New York Times reports, according to three individuals with knowledge of his conversations.

The mayor has also "sounded out trusted former aides about their interest in working on a potential campaign," and "has made other overtures to labor leaders about a possible bid," writes the Times.

The big problems? De Blasio himself is quite the "polarizing" figure in New York and national politics, facing low approval ratings in the city he runs and "deep skepticism elsewhere in the state," notes the Times. State Democrats are "incredulous that [de Blasio] would run" while simultaneously believing he will do so, considering his apparent "steadfast belief in his own political potential."

"Osama bin Laden is probably more popular in Suffolk County than Bill de Blasio," said Rich Schaffer, chairman of the county's Democratic committee. "De Blasio, I would say, would have zero support if not negative out here."

On that same note, Charles B. Rangel, a former congressman from Harlem, said he didn't want to "get involved in anything that would be negative," but could not "think of anything positive" to say about a de Blasio run. 

Other contenders, like New York Attorney General Letitia James and Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams, have also begun to test the gubernatorial waters, meaning there could be "significant competition" for de Blasio on the horizon. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) also plans to run.

Still, no concrete commitment has been made, says de Blasio adviser Peter Ragone. "The simple fact is that he hasn't made any final decisions at all about what he's doing next." Read more at The New York Times.