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Weiner refuses to quit NYC race after ‘sexting’ scandal
Democrat Anthony Weiner vowed Tuesday not to drop out of the race for New York City mayor, despite the emergence this week of humiliating explicit messages which he sent even after resigning from Congress in 2011 over a previous “sexting” scandal.
Disgraced serial “sexter” Anthony Weiner has pledged not to drop out of New York City’s mayoral race despite the revelation this week of racy correspondence with a young woman, including a photograph sent to her of his penis.
The photograph, published by gossip website TheDirty.com, was allegedly sent to a 22-year-old online acquaintance Weiner had been “sexting,” or sharing messages and images of a sexual nature.
The woman, who was not identified, said her relationship with Weiner began in July 2012 and lasted for six months. She said Weiner used the alias “Carlos Danger” online, but she knew she was talking to the former congressman.
The woman told The Dirty that she and Weiner exchanged explicit photos of themselves and engaged in phone sex frequently, but never had a physical relationship.
“This is entirely behind me,” Weiner told a news conference on Tuesday, hours after he admitted to the online affair. “There was no question that what I did was wrong.”
“I want to bring my vision to the people of the city of New York. I hope they’re willing to still continue to give me a second chance,” he said.
Weiner appeared alongside his wife, Huma Abedin, a long-time adviser to Hillary Clinton. “I love him. I have forgiven him. And as we have said from the beginning, we are moving forward,” she said. She acknowledged that Weiner “made some horrible mistakes, both before he resigned from Congress and after”. She also said that “a lot of work and a lot of therapy” allowed her to forgive Weiner, with whom she has an 18-year-month child.
In a statement issued by his campaign earlier in the day, Weiner said that he had envisaged the emergence of “other texts and photos” but warned that “some things posted today are true and some are not,” without elaborating.
The latest exchanges date from more than a year after Weiner resigned from Congress over similar pictures sent to various women via Twitter, which he admitted to in June 2011.
Weiner’s political career was thought ruined by the scandal, which brought acute embarrassment to the Democratic party, but in May 2013 he announced his candidature for the post of New York Mayor. Weiner then ramped up a campaign of public redemption with repeated apologies and soft-focus interviews.
Until now, the 48-year-old had emerged as a leading candidate in the mayoral poll. An aggregated poll by The Huffington Post just two weeks ago put him neck and neck with Democrat Christine Quinn, with both candidates scoring 21.7% of the vote.
Monday’s revelations are likely to allow Quinn, the first female and openly gay speaker of the New York City Council, to pull further ahead of the pack in the run-up to the Democrats’ primary poll on September 10.
On Tuesday, three of Weiner’s rivals - Democrats Sal Albanese and Bill de Blasio and Republican John Catsimatidis – called on Weiner to end his bid.
Billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg, who has run a tight ship as mayor since his election in 2001, is standing down after his third term in office.
The election will take place in November.