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Voting in the NYC mayoral primary: who are the candidates?

The Democratic primary in the New York City mayoral election will take place on Tuesday 22 June; we take a look at the favourites to win the race.

The Democratic primary in the New York City mayoral election will take place on Tuesday 22 June; we take a look at the favourites to win the race.
Michael M. SantiagoAFP

Tuesday will see the Democratic primary in the New York City mayoral race, the vote which will essentially decide the city’s next mayor. Given the area’s leftward political leanings, the successful Democrat will almost certainly be elected in November.

The race has been an unpredictable and often controversial affair with allegations of sexual misconduct; a former staffer running against their own candidate and claims that one of the hopefuls does not even live in the city.

The winning candidate on Tuesday will replace incumbent Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has largely underwhelmed Democrat-leaning voters in his eight years in city hall. Of the 13 Democrats vying for victory, a recent WNBC/Telemundo 47/Politico/Marist College poll has given four candidates a double-digit percentage chance of winning on Tuesday; we take a look at their campaigns...

Eric Adams, Brooklyn borough president, 24% chance of victory

The New York native from Brownsville, Brooklyn was a registered Republican from 1995-2002 but his long history of public service in the state have left him as the favourite to pick up the Democratic candidacy on Tuesday. He served as a police captain and state senator before becoming Brooklyn borough president in 2014.

He is considered a moderate Democrat and is an advocate for small business and real-estate development in the city. His years in law enforcement give him a strong background on crime but he is focused on social projects too. His ‘People’s Plan’ would provide a yearly tax credit of $3,000, universal child care and housing assistance for low-income residents.

Kathryn Garcia, Former NYC sanitation commissioner, 17% chance of victory

Another Brooklyn native, Garcia most recently served as De Blasio’s sanitation commissioner, the interim head of the New York City Housing Authority and the pandemic-era ‘food czar’. Her wide range of experience in City Hall could be crucial, although the link to De Blasio may not help with some skeptics.

She has concentrated on ecological concerns in her campaigning and have pledged to help move New York City towards becoming a “fully renewable energy economy”. This includes electrifying over 10,000 school buses, implementing a Green New Deal for the local housing authority and doubling the number of ‘green jobs’ over the next ten years.

Maya Wiley, Civil rights attorney, 15% chance of victory

While the previous two candidates had long-standing links to law enforcement and local government, Wiley is perhaps best known as an attorney and activist who joined the mayoral race last year in the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter protests. She had served under De Blasio in the past but left that role to become an MSNBC commentator in 2018.

Her platform is based on racial justice and police reform and has drawn strong support amongst progressives, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Wiley’s ‘New Deal New York’ will aim to create 100,000 new jobs while providing a complete overhaul of the city’s aging infrastructure. Her $500 million ‘universal community care’ proposal would be partially funded by freezing hires of police officers for two years, the New York Times reports.

Andrew Yang, Entrepreneur and former presidential candidate, 13% chance of winning

Perhaps the most well-known of the New York City mayoral candidates is 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang, has captured the media attention but there are question marks over his ability to govern effectively. His campaign is backed by various lobbyists and venture capitalists, and some worry that his background in private finance will make him more likely to bend to special interests.

His presidential campaign was characterised by a promise to introduce a universal basic income, and he is advocating for something similar now. He wants to implement a $1 billion financial support programme that would see an average annual payment of $2,000 sent to the city’s 500,000 residents. Despite this more progressive proposal, Yang is considered a moderate Democrats and would be unlikely to push for police reform.


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