NEW YORK — Entering what is starting to become a crowded arena, Jumaane Williams on Tuesday officially launched his campaign for governor — less than a month after he was elected to a full term as the city’s Public Advocate.

What You Need To Know

  • Jumaane Williams announced he is running for governor in a two-minute video released Tuesday morning

  • Williams was just reelected Public Advocate. He ran statewide before, also against Hochul, in 2018

  • Analysts say Williams' entry complicates the race for Attorney General Letitia James

Williams announced his run in a YouTube video and a new campaign website. In the two-minute video, Williams discusses his skills as an organizer, plus overcoming adversity, including his Tourette Syndrome, to become one of the top elected officials in New York City.

Williams was reelected Public Advocate at the beginning of the month. He's been in that role since 2019. Before that, he was a member of the City Council, representing Brooklyn.

He had formed an exploratory committee weeks ago looking into a run for governor. He had begun considering running for the state’s top job before Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation.

Williams has run statewide before. In 2018, he challenged Kathy Hochul for lieutenant governor and came within 7 percentage points of unseating her.

Now, he is running against Hochul again, this time for the top job.

"Right now, our state needs to move forward. From a pandemic. From an era of scandal. And from old ways of governing that have failed so many for so long," Williams said in his video.

Analysts say the entry of Williams into the race causes immediate problems for state Attorney General Letitia James, who last month announced she was running, but has had few public events since and very little interaction with reporters.

James and Williams draw from the same base of power in Brooklyn, and both have sought to run to the left of Hochul.

In a statement, James' campaign welcomed Williams to the race, adding, “Attorney General James is running a changemaking campaign for governor and as we’ve seen in just a short time there has been a groundswell of support from New Yorkers, labor unions, elected officials and others around her historic candidacy for governor.”

At an event Tuesday, Hochul also weighed in on Williams' campaign announcement.

“Everyone should run once," she said. "This is a great country, and I look forward to making my argument to the people of this state who have put their faith in me, and have given me a chance to prove what enlightened leadership and experienced leadership looks and feels like. And we are doing that every single day.”

Also potentially complicating the race, this time for Williams and James, could be the entry of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. He too hails from Brooklyn and saw some of his strongest support in citywide races from the Black community. De Blasio has not ruled out running for governor himself.

“New York City needs a lot of change. New York state needs a lot of change. There is a lot more to be done. There is a lot that is broken in Albany that needs to be fixed," de Blasio said. "We need to have that conversation in this state. We need to figure out how we are going to move forward. And having an array of voices offering different visions, different ideals, is a healthy thing.”

While there are bound to be other major candidates, one person who has indicated he may soon get into the race is Rep. Tom Suozzi of Queens and Long Island, who is expected to make a decision by the end of the month. Observers believe he’s be more likely to draw votes away from Hochul, but unlike Williams, he would have to give up his current job to run.