Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio officially ended months of speculation on Tuesday morning, announcing that he will not enter the Democratic primary race for New York governor this year.

In a statement he posted on Twitter and filmed outside on his home block in Park Slope, Brooklyn, de Blasio pledged to continue to fight inequality before announcing he won’t run.

“No, I am not going to run for governor in New York State. But I am going to devote every fiber of my being to fight inequality in the state of New York,” he said.

In the 97-second video, he pointed to the launch of universal pre-kindergarten for the city’s 4-year-olds and the ongoing expansion of education for 3-year-olds, along with more affordable housing. He even made some jokes at his own expense.

“I made my fair share of mistakes. I was not good with groundhogs at all. Probably should not have gone to the gym,” said de Blasio, giving a nod to two episodes from his mayoralty that often evoked mockery and criticism. “But you know what? We changed things in this town.”

De Blasio broke the news on the same day the state's campaign finance filings are due to show fundraising figures for the race.

While the former mayor closed the door on a gubernatorial bid, he signaled that he will have more news in the days to come.

The latest announcement comes two months after he released a video where he pledged to campaign for expanded early childhood education across the state. While that video looked and felt like a campaign launch, de Blasio did not make it official. Instead, he used the waning days of his mayoralty to quietly build out a new political team and lay the groundwork for a potential launch.

What has felt like a slow but relentless path towards another campaign began in the early fall, shortly after the former Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned from office in disgrace following a series of sexual harassment allegations and a damning report from the state attorney general’s office on his conduct.

De Blasio, who spent the better part of his two terms at City Hall openly feuding with Cuomo, began testing the waters with supporters and methodically building out a team. When asked about his plans, he offered a standard answer saying he wants to continue in public service.

Politico New York first reported about his new fundraising committee, New Yorkers for a Fairer Future, in October. A month later, the national publication announced a series of hires to de Blasio’s political team including his former senior adviser Peter Ragone and pollster Anna Greenberg, along with members of Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ digital team and the group Bearstar Strategies, which led the successful campaign to avert a recall for California Governor Gavin Newsom.

This team is expected to continue working together on de Blasio’s next steps, Ragone confirmed.

Still, de Blasio faced an uphill battle against incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul, the state’s first woman governor.

The latest poll released Monday by the Siena College Research Institute, conducted between January 9 - 13, 2022, showed Hochul with a commanding lead over the field with support from 46% of Democrats. De Blasio polled in second place at 12%, outpacing city Public Advocate Jumaane Williams at 11%, and Long Island U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi at 6%, with 24% of respondents saying they were unsure or naming another candidate.

But even though de Blasio polled in the number two spot, more Democrats viewed him unfavorably (45%) than favorably (42%), according to the poll.

“With 22 weeks until the primary, it appears Hochul is in the catbird seat to be the Democratic nominee for governor,” Siena College pollster Steve Greenberg said in a statement.

Tuesday also marks the deadline for candidates to file their most recent fundraising numbers. Hochul is expected to announce a haul of more than $20 million, dwarfing the next closest candidate, Suozzi, who announced his campaign brought in more than $5 million in six weeks. Sources say de Blasio is expected to have raised just under $1 million, without ever officially launching his bid.

Back in the pre-pandemic days of 2019, as Democratic presidential candidates descended on states like Iowa to test the waters for their presidential bids, de Blasio was among them. At one-point he even got trapped in a blizzard on an early trip to the first-in-the nation caucus state before he had even officially declared his candidacy.

His penchant for politicking kept him on the trail, officially entering the race in May and persisting until September of that year, when it became clear he was not picking up the fundraising or public polling support he needed to qualify for the fall debates.

Unlike that short-lived campaign, former advisers say he realized early that a race for governor would not be successful.

“I think he put his finger to the wind and realized there wasn’t a path —-- and now is a better time to reach that decision than after months of grueling campaigning and fundraising,” said Monica Klein, who worked on de Blasio’s 2013 and 2017 mayoral campaigns, served as an aide in City Hall and is currently a partner at Seneca Strategies, a progressive consulting firm.

Still she said it was no surprise that even in bowing out of this race, de Blasio continued to express interest in state politics.

“Anyone who has spent time in City Hall quickly realizes,” Klein said, “Albany is where the real power lies.