It’s finally over. Rep. Anthony Weiner announced his resignation at a news conference in Brooklyn to cheers and hecklers in the crowd. He also apologized to his wife Huma Abedin and to the people in his district. His wife was not with him for the announcement.
“So today I am announcing my resignation form congress. So my colleagues can get back to work, my neighbors can choose a representative, and most importantly, that my wife and I can continue to heal from the damage I have caused.”
Weiner called House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Steve Israel of New York Wednesday evening to let them know about his plan to quit, conversations that were reportedly emotional and apologetic.
The decision came just a day after Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin returned from a trip overseas with her boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Weiner’s departure will likely prompt a special election to fill the vacated seat, if it isn’t eliminated as a result of redistricting.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo would need to call a special election 70 to 80 days after the vacancy is officially recognized. Then, Brooklyn and Queens Democratic and Republican organizations would get together to select a candidate to run for the position.
Among the Democrats said to want the job include former council members Eric Gioia and Melinda Katz and current councilman Mark Weprin. Councilman Eric Ulrich is considered a possible GOP contender.
It’s also not clear what Weiner will do next to earn a living: he’s spent his entire adult life working in politics.
Politics wasn’t in Weiner’s blood. CBS 2′s Kristine Thorne did some digging on Weiner’s past and his rise to political stardom. He grew up in Park Slope, the son of middle class Jewish parents – his father a lawyer and his mother a public school teacher.
Weiner attended Brooklyn Technical High School and then went on to graduate from SUNY Plattsburgh in 1985. He went to work for then-congressman Charles Schumer. Weiner reportedly told Schumer, “I’m going to take your job someday.”
After working for Schumer for six years, he was elected to the New York City Council. In 1998, he went on to Congress. In 2005, he set his sights on becoming New York City mayor but fell short.
Weiner, a polarizing figure in Congress due to his fiercely liberal political views and brash, outspoken style – who was once named one of the 50 most influential Jewish Americans, found himself without support on Capitol Hill after the scandal broke.
Earlier Thursday, House Democrats had been moving forward with plans to diminish Weiner’s role in congress by removing him from his post on the Energy and Commerce Committee. On Monday, President Barack Obama suggested Weiner should resign.