New York Mayor Bill de Blasio will end his term in office this year. With this, some 30 politicians, activists and businesspeople have already fixed their sights on his office. For the prospective candidates, the New York Mayoral race has only just begun.
“It’s the biggest city in the country. It’s a city that has a profile on the international level both in the communications media and in the financial industry. I don’t like to say this, but the reality is that it’s the capital of the world, so it’s in a position that elevates the profile of its mayors,” John A. Gutierrez, an assistant professor at John Jay College, City University of New York, told EFE.
But this glamorous role of directing the economic and cultural center of the United States also has a complicated flip side. That side involves governing an urban area of more than eight million residents. NYC has serious structural problems of a shortage of housing and public transport. It also has social and racial inequalities, which have been aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic. This, in turn, has added more complications to the equation. Such complications include increasing local unemployment and gun violence.
Being The Mayor of New York Is “The Second Hardest Job in US Politics”
According to Gutierrez, “historically, it is said that the second hardest job in US politics after the presidency is being mayor of New York.”
But the race is still in its very early going. The primary elections scheduled for June 22 and the mayoral election itself for Nov. 2.
Although, obviously, De Blasio’s replacement will not be known until Nov. 3, all eyes are on the June primaries in the Democratic and Republican parties. At that time, they will select their respective candidates for the New York Mayoral race.
With New York a Democratic Party bastion, where – for example – Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden beat President Donald Trump with 76 percent of the votes, many say that the mayoral race will be won in the primaries, with the Democratic contender who emerges on top being a virtual shoo-in to the mayor’s office.
Among the huge number of mayoral hopefuls, about a dozen names stand out.
Possible New York Mayoral Candidates
The current president of the borough of Brooklyn, Eric Adams, 60, is one of them. A former police officer and state senator, he was the first African American to lead Brooklyn. His eight years at the head of the local government garnered him the support needed to make the attempted jump to the New York City mayor’s office.
Scott Stringer, also 60, is the current New York City comptroller and another veteran politician who, Gutierrez said, has significant support in Manhattan and good ties with the city’s key economic sectors of finance and real estate.
The former state housing secretary, Shaun Donovan, 54, is another of the candidates who is well-positioned in the race. Gutierrez emphasized his “technocratic” profile. However, he said he doubted that Donovan has a large enough popular base to emerge on top in the race.
Maya Wiley, 57, an attorney, activist and former advisor to De Blasio, is one of the candidates with more options in a race where there are several women hopefuls, including a psychiatrist and retired military officer Loree Sutton, 61.
Roles of the Latino and African American Communities in the Mayoral Race
The significant size of the Latino and African American communities in boroughs like The Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn makes them key constituencies if a candidate wants to win one of the primaries.
Diana Morales, 53, of Puerto Rican origin, is one of the Latino aspirants in the race. Another is Carlos Menchaca, 40, who has Mexican roots and is one of the youngest candidates.
Both also represent the leftist wing of the Democratic Party. With this, Gutierrez said that their programs are perhaps too progressive for the Big Apple’s Latino community. It may especially be true for the older cohort who “are looking for stability and not radical ideas.”
Prospective Candidates Outside of Politics
Apart from the veteran officials and activists who hope to gain the support of voters this spring, there is a handful of candidates coming from outside politics who have been making their mark in the electoral battle.
Among them is the former US presidential hopeful Andrew Yang, 46. Another is the former vice president of Citigroup, Ray Macguire, 64. Both are the ones who seem to be best positioned. They also have personal fortunes with which to jumpstart their campaigns.
Yang, who surprised observers in the Democratic presidential primaries, has shown himself to be very able to attract potential young voters via social networks.
Whichever Democratic candidate wins the party primary clearly stands the best chance of winning the mayoral race. However, there are Republican hopefuls in the mix, too, including former Wall Street executive Sara Tirschwell, 55; the founder of the Guardian Angels citizens’ patrols, Curtis Sliwa, 66; and the head of the New York Federation of Taxi Drivers, Fernando Mateo, 63.
In addition, multimillionaire businessman John Catsimatidis, who unsuccessfully competed in the GOP mayoral primary in 2013, spending $11 million in the process, has been flirting with the idea of throwing his hat into the ring, although he has made no move as yet to do so.
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Source: EFE via La Prensa Latina