Mike Bonin remains in middle of City Council race, though he dropped out 9 months ago.
The former mayor of Brooklyn and state senator is running again as a Democrat.
Bonin, who had $4.1 million raised and a $1.2 million war chest as recently as 2011, had the longest gap between the end of his reelection campaign and his candidacy this time.
And he made it clear he will still be campaigning in Queens, which his team called “a key swing county” in the next four years.
“Queens is one of the top swing counties, and that’s where I’m going to be,” he said at a campaign event at a Brooklyn cafe on Tuesday night.
“You know, you have to run up and down the street to knock on more doors to get your vote, so yes, Queens is a key swing county in New York,” he said.
City Council member Letitia James had a much more subdued reaction.
“I think he’s done a very good job for the city,” she said. “He’s done a very good job for Queens, and I wish him well.”
Bonin’s political life began in Albany, where he was a state senator from 1980 to 1989.
In 1993, he ran for mayor, losing to Rudy Giuliani and then again in 2001 to Michael Bloomberg. He had no trouble getting enough votes to win, and he left city hall with the state’s top executive post.
He is expected to announce early next year, likely at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, in March.
James, who is mayor of a city that is seen as critical to the upcoming presidential election, also has not made a decision about her political future.
Bonin and James have been friends for decades and worked together on a number of public issues, including the development of the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the Hudson River Park Conservancy. James is a member of the Hudson River Park Conservancy board.
Bonin will try to tap into some Democratic voters who did not vote in the last presidential election.
He has also been a supporter of gay rights, abortion rights and immigration enforcement.
A survey of his supporters by the National Journal shows nearly two-thirds of the 55 people polled are Republicans, the majority identifying themselves as white evangelical Christian, a category that would include Bonin