It was day one on the campaign trail for Bill de Blasio.
But politicians here at home are already jumping into his spotlight.
State Attorney General Letitia James had harsh words for de Blasio, once her political ally.
“All of those issues and more and listen he can run, he’s the 23rd candidate but the question is why??” James said.
While the mayor was walking in the fields of Iowa on Friday meeting with voters, those with their eye on his seat were rolling out big proposals of their own, including City Comptroller Scott Stringer who announced a new proposal to pay for early childcare.
“We’re here today to address an issue that is fueling that affordability crisis for families. Today we are unveiling a plan to the single largest local investment in childcare in the United States," Stringer said.
Before getting into the details, Stringer took a swipe at the mayor.
“So I’m going to go to Iowa tomorrow… no..no,” he said.
Not far from the Lower East Side, education advocates gathered on the steps of City Hall to rally against the mayor’s proposal to reform the city’s specialized high school admissions process.
And housing advocates, planning to protest the mayor in Iowa, held meetings with Council Speaker Corey Johnson to address the lack of leadership at the New York City Housing Authority.
Those issues, in addition to the ongoing homelessness crisis, an ongoing measles outbreak and the city council’s budget talks remain unresolved while de Blasio is away.
Housing advocate Maria Roman, who has lived at the Baruch for more than four decades, said she felt let down by de Blasio's housing promises. Father Edward Mason, whose parish is in Brooklyn, questioned the mayor's presidential run.
“I believe the mayor is running, he’s running away from his record here on affordable housing in the city," Edward said.
“He’s not taking care of his own house, his own issues and we are in a crisis. We’ve been lied to, he stood on those steps and made a promise," Roman said.
Calling in from Iowa, de Blasio dismissed downplayed his absence.
“I am confident that I am going to be able to get the job done wherever I am," de Blasio said. "But I also have to say that a lot of the problems of New York City cannot be solved just within the five boroughs. And a very important thing for me in making this decision was, recognizing that first of all, New York City can’t move forward if Donald Trump continues to be president.
With the mayor’s side of City Hall sitting empty as de Blasio hits the campaign trail, politicians here at home will be stepping into the spotlight, hoping to win the support of New Yorkers while the mayor tries to win voters far away from the five boroughs.