It looks like the already crowded race for mayor will soon have to make room for one more, only this mayoral hopeful isn't a career politician; he's a wealthy tech entrepreneur making his first foray into politics, much like a certain mayor did 12 years ago. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
Most New Yorkers probably haven't heard of him, but Jack Hidary hopes to change that over the next four months.
The tech entrepreneur is taking a page from the Michael Bloomberg 2001 playbook, hoping New Yorkers will bet on a private-sector innovator with no government experience.
"I go around New York City to all kinds of communities," Hidary said. "I'm hearing that they do not want a career politician. They want independent leadership."
Indeed, Hidary is eyeing a run as an independent. Unlike the leading Democratic candidates, he supports much of Bloomberg's agenda, including his education policies.
"He put a lot of good reforms in place. A lot of good progress there. Report cards for every school. A lot of kids are doing better," Hidary said. "But there’s still a lot more work to be done."
Hidary's campaign website is now live, touting his impressive resume. Most recently, he founded Samba, a clean energy company. He also has his own philanthropic foundation, which supports education reform and other causes. He's on several boards, including Google X labs, and helped lead the push for more hybrid taxis. His signature success, though, was founding Earthweb/Dice, a IT job-posting site.
"Dice has connected millions of people with their jobs over the last 15 years," Hidary said. "That's what I know. I know how to connect people with jobs."
A Brooklyn native, Hidary said he'd take Bloomberg's economic development plans and expand them in the boroughs.
"I come from part of Brooklyn, deep Brooklyn, Ocean Parkway, near Coney Island," he said. "We don't have incubators there yet. We don't have some of these small business co-working spaces yet that we see in downtown Manhattan, in Chelsea, in Flatiron."
Hidary described his politics as socially progressive, fiscally sound and digitally savvy. He's assembling a campaign staff, and it's expected to officially announce his candidacy soon. Then, it'll be up to voters whether Hidary's private-sector success translates to politics.