The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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State, national news

May 22, 2013

Anthony Weiner launches bid to become NYC mayor

NEW YORK (AP) — Anthony Weiner's run for a renaissance is officially on.

The ex-congressman whose career imploded in a rash of raunchy tweets two years ago said in a YouTube video announcement late Tuesday that he's in the New York City mayoral race. He'd said last month he was considering it.

"I made some big mistakes and I know I let a lot of people down, but I also learned some tough lessons," he said in the video. "I'm running for mayor because I've been fighting for the middle class and those struggling to make it my entire life. And I hope I get a second chance."

With that, Weiner is embarking on an audacious comeback quest, hoping to go from punch line pol whose tweeted crotch shot was emblazoned on the nation's consciousness to leader of America's biggest city.

The video appeared late Tuesday but was not linked on his website or YouTube page. A call to Weiner was not immediately returned Wednesday.

The Democrat is jumping into a crowded field for September's primary. He's arriving with some significant advantages, including a $4.8 million campaign war chest, the possibility of more than $1 million more in public matching money, polls showing him ahead of all but one other Democrat — and no end of name recognition.

His participation makes a runoff more likely, and many political observers feel he could at least get to the second round.

But Weiner also has continued to contend with questions about his character and the scandal that sank his career just two years ago.

After a photo of a man's bulging, underwear-clad groin appeared on his Twitter account in 2011, he initially claimed his account had been hacked. After more photos emerged — including one of him bare-chested in his congressional office — the married congressman eventually owned up to exchanging racy messages with several women, saying he'd never met any of them. He soon resigned.

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