Obama's Budget Director Eyes Run for NYC Mayor

August 8, 2016 AT 12:45 PM

Shaun Donovan, President Barack Obama’s budget director, wants to run for mayor of New York City—and one of Michael Bloomberg’s top political hands is putting together a preliminary effort to draft him into the 2017 primary race against incumbent Bill de Blasio.

The moves come as de Blasio, who’s been on the outs with the White House after saying President Barack Obama showed up late to the income inequality conversation (and is in such bad shape with the Clintons that all the mayor got was a mid-afternoon speaking slot at last month’s Democratic convention), is battling rocky poll numbers and a list of investigations that has grown almost by the week.

Donovan, who also served as Obama’s Housing and Urban Development secretary though the mortgage crisis recovery before moving into his current job, has been quietly talking up the idea of running for years in private, and those conversations had picked up recently, according to several people who've been involved in them.

But even as he’s told friends and people who’ve come back to him to talk about running that he wants to see his children finish high school, and he wants to see out the end of the administration — 2017 isn't the year he wanted to run —the calls have kept coming. Anti-de Blasio players in New York politics are hoping he could become the unlikely first Obama alum since Rahm Emanuel to run for major office, according to several of the people who’ve gotten interested in his possible candidacy.

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