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Who's Who and Who's Leading in the 13 Candidate NYC Mayoral Race

13 Democratic candidates are running for New York City Mayor. Let's discuss the top 8 candidates and their platforms.
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New York City Mayoral Candidates

Meet the Candidates Left to Right

The following points are condensed from the WSJ article Meet the Top New York City Mayoral Candidates

Kathryn Garcia

  • Garcia Platform:  Free child care for families making less than $70,000 a year and wants to streamline the permitting process to open up a small business or restaurant to just one permit. On issues of crime and safety, she has called for an increased reward for the city’s gun buyback program.
  • Endorsements: Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association; Teamsters Local 831; SEIU Local 246 Auto Mechanics Union; Teamsters 813; The Sanitation Officers Association SEIU Local 444; Uniformed Sanitation Chiefs Association; state Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D., Queens;) state Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell (D., Manhattan); and state Sen. Liz Krueger (D., Manhattan).

Ray McGuire

  • McGuire Platform: Bring back 50,000 jobs to small businesses by having the city subsidize half of a worker’s salary for a year. He wants to create an emergency social-services office staffed with mental-healthcare workers.
  • Endorsements: U.S. Rep. Greg Meeks (D., N.Y.) who is also chair of the Queens Democratic Party; former New York Knicks stars Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley; LL Cool J; Jay-Z; Nas; Spike Lee.

Andrew Yang

  • Yang Platform: Yang’s biggest policy idea is a supplemental income program for the poorest 500,000 New Yorkers, promising each of them $2,000 a year. He has said his lack of experience in city government is a benefit, adding that he isn’t a politician beholden to special interests. For those inclined to do the math, Yang wants to give away $1 billion in free money every year. That's only 1/100th of the budget but I assure you it will not stop there.
  • Yang Endorsements: Rep. Grace Meng (D., N.Y.); Rep. Ritchie Torres (D., N.Y.); state Sen. John Liu (D); Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein (D., Brooklyn) and Assemblyman Ron Kim (D., Queens)

Eric Adams

  • Adams Platform: The Brooklyn borough president and a former New York Police Department officer, 60 years old, has focused on public safety,
  • Endorsements: Mr. Adams has multiple labor endorsements, including 32BJ SEIU, the Hotel Trades Council, District Council 37, Unite Here! Local 100 and the Amalgamated Transit Union. He also has the support of Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, former New York state Comptroller Carl McCall and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., all Democrats.

Maya Wiley

  • Wiley Platform: Wiley, a civil-rights lawyer and former counsel to Mr. de Blasio, is one of the most progressive candidates in the race. She has called for defunding the NYPD by moving $1 billion from the department’s budget to community resources.
  • Endorsements: 1199 SEIU; The Working Families Party; Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.); Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D., N.Y.); Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D., N.Y) and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (D.)

Scott Stringer

  • Stringer Platform: The New York City comptroller wants to put two teachers in each kindergarten to fifth-grade public school classroom and offer affordable child care to families with children age 3 and under. He has also called for $1 billion in federal stimulus funds to be directed to a grant program to help small businesses and nonprofits recover from the pandemic.
  • After the sexual-harassment allegations came to light, Mr. Stringer lost many of his high-profile endorsements, including from Rep. Jamaal Bailey (D., N.Y.) and state Sen. Jessica Ramos (D., Queens.) He still has the endorsement of the United Federation of Teachers.

Dianne Morales

  • Morales Platform: As one of the most left-leaning candidates running in the Democratic primary, Ms. Morales supports reallocating $3 billion from the NYPD’s budget into other community resources. She calls for desegregating public schools by eliminating screens at gifted-and-talented programs.
  • Endorsements: Environmental advocacy group Sunrise Movement; Committee of Interns and Residents; City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D., Queens)

Shaun Donovan

  • Donovan Platform: A longtime government official with local and federal experience, Mr. Donovan summarized his plan for New York City with 70 ideas, doled out over 70 days of the campaign. One is “15-minute neighborhoods,” which would ensure that all New Yorkers have high-quality schools, fresh food, access to fast transportation and a park within a 15-minute walk of their homes.
  • Endorsements: Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter; former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, all Democrats.

How the Election Works

Those are the Democratic Party candidates. The primary is on June 22. 

For the first time, New York City will use ranked voting.  Voters can list their top five candidates in preferential order. In all there are 13 candidates on the ballot in the Democratic primary, making it the largest field of mayoral contenders in the city’s history.

The top eight candidates are listed above.

If no one gets a majority in the June 22 election, ranked voting kicks in.

Under the system, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated. The ousted candidate’s votes get redistributed to the voters’ second choices. That continues until there is a winner.

Who's in the Lead?

Polls are shifting rapidly and it's difficult to game the outcome given ranked voting. However, the latest poll shows Adams Leads; Wiley Jumps to 2nd after AOC Endorsement, Rival Scandals.

New York City Democratic mayoral candidate Maya Wiley saw a massive jump in support this week following major endorsements from progressives and scandals surrounding several of her rivals, according to a new PIX11, NewsNation, Emerson College poll released Wednesday. 

Of the voters surveyed on Monday and Tuesday, 17% said they would choose Wiley as their top candidate for mayor, placing her second in a crowded field of candidates vying to replace term-limited Mayor Bill de Blasio. That’s a substantial surge from 9% of votes from PIX11’s flash poll released on May 25.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who has maintained a steady presence at or near the top of PIX11’s polls, led the survey with 23% of voter support. Adams also showed progress in growing his base of supporters, rising from 20% in the last PIX11 poll.

Rounding out the top five candidates were Andrew Yang at 15%; Kathryn Garcia — the frontrunner in PIX11’s last poll — at 12%; and city Comptroller Scott Stringer at 9%.

Wiley, the former counsel to de Blasio has been picking up high-profile endorsements from progressive lawmakers, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman. However, the poll showed Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement in particular had a negligible impact on voters.

Dianne Morales fell to 2% of voter support, compared to 7% in PIX11’s last poll, following turmoil among staffers and claims of harassment within her campaign.

Stringer, meanwhile, was faced with a second, decades-old accusation of sexual harassment, which was first reported by the New York Times on Friday. Nearly 44% of voters said they were less likely to vote for Stringer because of the additional accusation of sexual misconduct. 

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Where Does Eric Adams Live?

A huge controversy over Where Adams Lives is one of the big issues in the campaign 

Adams, the Brooklyn Borough  President, has an apartment in New Jersey but says he lives in Brooklyn.

Even if he did live in New Jersey, state law only says that he has to be living in New York City on Election Day in November. 

Other questions have come into play: Was he sleeping in Brooklyn’s Borough Hall, or New Jersey, to evade taxes? 

Mayor Bill de Blasio sided with Adams. “I’ve known Eric Adams for decades,” he said during his daily news briefing on Thursday. “He’s a Brooklynite. He’s a New Yorker. He’s served the city in many different capacities. I just don’t see an issue here.”

Donovan's Plan

Donovan's Plan is the least specific. Instead he is relying on prior expertise as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Obama Cabinet.

He claims to have successfully managed the four-trillion-dollar federal budget as Director of the Office of Management and Budget during the Obama/Biden administration.

From January, 2009 to July, 2014, Donovan was the 15th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

That's a lot of baggage.

Comments on Yang

A friend of mine commented "Yang has gone nutty. He wants to take a billion more out go the police budgets, wants to change the color of their uniforms and change their name from policemen."

In checking, I found this Tweet.

Ranking the Candidates 

One can look at the candidates platforms, background, and endorsements to make a judgement call. 

Rule out candidates offering free money, as well as those who have huge union endorsements, want to defund the police, or are backed by Progressives.


Unfortunately, the process of elimination eliminates everyone running.

There is not a single worthwhile candidate in the group.  

Also unfortunately, one of them will indeed be the next Mayor of NYC. 

As distasteful as the process might be, people must make a choice. I strongly suggest voting Republican or sitting the election out.

It is notable the Teacher's Union endorsed someone with repeat sexual-harassment allegations. 

Those who insist on voting for someone who might win, may be wondering who I would vote for if forced at gunpoint to vote for one of the above candidates.

Based on the evidence presented, I would flip a coin between Donovan and Adams.  Neither has said much of anything and that is a huge plus. The more specific the plan offered, the worse the rest look. Otherwise, go ahead and shoot me.

This may be the bigger collection of losers in history running for public office in one city.