New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio acknowledged Friday he may not qualify for the first presidential debate next month, but argued that isn’t a telltale sign about his overall chances of winning the Democratic nomination.

As he kicked off his campaign here in the nation’s first presidential selection state, the mayor said he has achieved one debate stage requirement: securing at least 1 percent in three polls. But given the size of the Democratic field, which now totals 23 candidates, he may also need to raise contributions from 65,000 individual donors.

De Blasio opened a federal campaign account Thursday. Per election rules, he cannot transfer any of the money he had been raising since last fall for the state and federal political action committees he set up as he mulled a White House bid.