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Session:         Page of 617

Interview # 16
Interviewee: Congressman Edward I. Koch
Interviewer: Ed Edwin
New York City
January 9, 1976


I wanted to ask you the same question I asked about why you ran for the city council. When and why did you decide to run for Congress and leave the city council?


Well, the city council was nothing. Once you've been there, you know that -- whereas Congress is a lot in terms of the ability to effectuate things that you think should be done. You have staff. You had no staff on the city council. I had a voluntary staff. I've already told you how I attracted some good people to help me. But that's not the same as having people who work eight hours a day minimum. Most people on my staff work something like 15 hours a day with all the extra work they undertake voluntarily. It's not as though I had some goal as a child that I wanted to be the President or a Congressman, no. It is having entered the political process, it was clear to me that I have talent, I want to accomplish something, and that Congress was the place to do it.


Does what you just said also mean that either when you ran for Congress the first time or shortly after your first victory, you did not have in mind running for mayor?

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