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Ex-congressman Weiner takes lead in NYC mayoral race: poll

Former U.S. Congressman and New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner speaks with reporters at campaign event in New York, May 23, 2013
Former U.S. Congressman and New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner speaks with reporters at campaign event in New York, May 23, 2013

By Edith Honan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former Congressman Anthony Weiner, attempting a political comeback two years after resigning in disgrace from the legislature, has taken the lead over his Democratic rivals in the race for New York City mayor, a poll showed.

Weiner has the backing of 25 percent of registered Democrats, while City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the early front-runner and a close ally of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, trails with 20 percent, according to Tuesday's Wall Street Journal-NBC New York-Marist poll.

Former Comptroller Bill Thompson has 13 percent, followed by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio with 10 percent and city Comptroller John Liu with 8 percent.

Weiner has shaken up the race for City Hall since announcing his candidacy on May 22. His resignation in 2011 had marked a remarkable fall from grace for a politician who was seen as a leading liberal voice in the U.S. House of Representatives and had been widely expected to run in this year's race for mayor.

Once a popular six-term Congressman representing parts of Brooklyn and Queens, he resigned from Congress after admitting he had sent a lewd picture over Twitter and then lied about it repeatedly.

Since entering the race, Weiner has presented himself as a champion for working-class New Yorkers and a man who has learned from his mistakes.

As recently as February, most city-wide polls had Quinn, who would be the city's first female and lesbian mayor, leading with nearly 40 percent of Democratic support. But since then, Quinn's support has seen a slow and steady drop.

The survey of 689 Democrats was conducted last week and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

(Editing by Eric M. Johnson; Editing by John Stonestreet)

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