Ex-congressman 'lewd photos' Weiner announces New York mayor bid

NEW YORK (AFP) - Mr Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former United States congressman forced to resign after tweeting lewd photos of himself to women, announced on Wednesday that he is running for mayor of New York.

The unlikely comeback, which Mr Weiner has been talking about for months, was announced in an online video posted in the middle of the night.

Mr Weiner, 48, acknowledged erring and learning a lesson, and asked for a second chance. He depicted himself as a champion of the middle class.

"I made some big mistakes and I know I let a lot of people down," he said.

"I have been fighting for the middle class and those struggling to make it my entire life," he added. "And I hope to get a second chance to work for you."

Mr Weiner was once seen as a frontrunner to replace billionaire Michael Bloomberg in November's elections to the Big Apple's City Hall. Mr Bloomberg will complete his third term in office in December.

But the Democrat's hard-charging political career in the US House of Representatives imploded in 2011 with the X-rated Twitter scandal.

Mr Weiner - who is married to Ms Huma Abedin, Mrs Hillary Clinton's top aide during her time as secretary of state - initially claimed his Twitter account had been hacked and he had not sent the pictures.

He finally admitted the truth and also said that for several years he had taken part in racy exchanges via text messages and Twitter with women that he never met.

Last month, Mr Weiner reopened a Twitter account, in an apparent political comeback drive.

He retweeted a document called 64 Ideas To Keep New York The Capital Of The Middle Class, and another on Earth Day, and quickly lured more than 5,000 followers.

The already crowded field in the New York mayoral race is led by current City Council speaker Christine Quinn, according to polls. The Democrat would be the city's first female mayor.

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