New York’s Mayor Race: NYC residents will head to the polls to cast ballots in a primary election before the city’s next mayor is crowned. Here’s what both sides are saying. To have stories like this and more delivered directly to your inbox, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.
Top Story: New York’s Mayor Race
Next month, New York City residents will head to the polls to cast ballots in a primary election before the city’s next mayor is crowned in November. Fiorello LaGuardia famously called this position the “second-toughest job in America.” Why does this matter? Well, for those living in the Big Apple, “The winner will face the challenge of leading the city’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, in which more than 33,000 residents died from the virus and thousands of businesses closed,” Katie Honan writes for the Wall Street Journal. If you could care less about New York and maybe even resent the place, consider this. In 2019, before the pandemic, Time Out ranked New York the best city in the world. You may take this for granted, but pause and think about that for one second. The best city on the entire planet is located on our shores. That’s something to be proud of and protect. On a global scale, New York is a leading center of banking, finance, mass media, journalism, and publishing. It’s also sometimes referred to as “Silicon Alley,” as more tech companies flee Silicon Valley to set up shop on the East Coast. It’s the crown jewel of the United States. New York represents the American spirit in a way no other city can. (Plus, it’s got some of the best pizza in the world). This is why what happens in New York on a policy level has downstream impacts on the rest of the country. Whether you care to admit it or not, every American is affected by what happens in the heart of the Empire State. This is why the mayoral race is so important. Here’s what both sides are saying with respect to Democratic front-runners, specifically:
On The Right
Right-leaning commentators believe the candidate who proposes the best way to tackle the rising crime wave in New York City will be crowned the next mayor. Most endorse former police officer, Eric Adams. They’re also deeply worried about “ranked choice voting.”
Law and Order: Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Daniel Henninger says, “New York City’s mayoral race is forcing the Democrats to talk about crime—again.” Henninger focuses on a mid-May debate among the city’s eight Democratic mayoral candidates, noting that “law and order” was the main discussion topic. While both “Eric Adams, the black Brooklyn borough president, and former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang… are running on [the] law and order” platform, Henninger says, “Only Mr. Adams is calling street crime an existential threat to the city’s long-term future.” Henninger adds that “New Yorkers have spent the past year beaten down both by COVID and crime. For COVID they’ve got vaccinations. For the city’s epidemic of shootings, up over last year by some 80%, they’ve got nearly nothing.” At the end of the day, “Societies depend for survival on maintaining a clear, bold line between civilized behavior and crime. New York’s voters soon will decide whether to maintain that line, or let it wash away.”
Endorsing Adams: Echoing that sentiment, the New York Post Editorial Board puts their weight firmly behind Eric Adams. First, “His top priority has to be reversing the rocketing rise in crime, from shootings to subway safety. Having been a police officer for 22 years, Adams understands the crisis,” they write. “He articulates a clear, firm, and common-sense route to cleaning up our streets. While Adams has been a fierce critic of the NYPD, he does not believe in defunding the police.” They state Adams also speaks “common sense” about education and knows charter schools “provide a life-changing opportunity for poor minority kids — and a living challenge to our public schools to improve.” Adams “has [also] shown a willingness to cut regulations for small businesses and encourage new startups.” The editors end by saying, “From riding the rails with a badge, to serving in state government, to his current job as Brooklyn borough president, Adams has a depth of experience that would serve him well in City Hall.”
Get Rid of Ranked Choice Voting: Finally, in an opinion piece for Fox News, Colin Reed focuses on a new element in this NYC election cycle. He says, “For anyone concerned about the future of elections, keep a close eye on a new trend called ‘ranked choice voting.’ Alaska and Maine have implemented the system statewide, and New York City is using it for June’s mayoral primary.” Here’s how it works: “Instead of the traditional winner-take-all system, New York City voters will list up to five candidates in order of preference. If no candidate crosses the 50% threshold, the last place finisher is eliminated, and that person’s votes go to their voters’ second choices. This process repeats until one candidate reaches 50.” Reed says this is bad news because “The left knows ranked-choice increases the chance of one of their own catching a few breaks all the way to City Hall.” Ultimately, “If the left uses this scheme to get their way in New York, there’s no telling where they will stop. Success begets success. Ranked-choice voting could quickly morph from the exception to the norm – and head to a ballot box near you.”
On The Left
Left-leaning outlets and commentators don’t seem to be particularly thrilled with Andrew Yang. In fact, a few heavyweights back Kathryn Garcia instead, a native New Yorker who would be the first woman to hold the office.
Endorsing Garcia: The New York Times Editorial Board believes it is candidate “Kathryn Garcia who best understands how to get New York back on its feet and has the temperament and the experience to do so.” They say Garcia was “a go-to problem solver for the past decade… a confident, gravelly-voiced woman who ran an overwhelmingly male Sanitation Department.” During COVID, “She shifted trash pickup to late night and early morning hours, an effort to protect thousands of city workers and the public they normally interact with. She also managed an operation that has delivered more than 200 million meals to hungry New Yorkers during the pandemic.” The editors write that “She is also committed to reforming the New York Police Department. That begins with speeding up and strengthening the disciplinary process, reforming the promotion process, raising the age for recruits to 25 from 21, and requiring them to live in the five boroughs.” They conclude by saying, “Kathryn Garcia can run a government that delivers for all New Yorkers.” Not only that, but “She would be the first woman to hold the office.”
Buy Garcia: Similarly, The New York Daily News says, “New Yorkers should choose Kathryn Garcia in the Democratic primary for NYC mayor.” As “a New York City native (Stuyvesant High School class of 1988) and veteran of the Bloomberg and de Blasio administrations, Garcia brings a record in government that’s broad and deep.” In terms of priorities, “Her plans combining further criminal justice reforms with robust, targeted policing are among the best.” The editors also agree with Garcia’s outlook on education. They write she “correctly believes in turning New York City’s public schools, which are really two or three systems of wildly variable quality, into a single, genuinely integrated system that sets a higher bar for all kids and helps them meet it.” From a budget perspective, “She’s prepared to wrestle with a city government that’s grown faster than inflation, and beyond our means, under de Blasio.” The editors conclude by noting that “Garcia says New Yorkers are ‘really worried that they’re going to get sold a slogan and not get what they think they’re buying.’ Absolutely right. Sell the rest. Buy Garcia.”
Yang is Trump-Like: What about Andrew Yang? Well, Jordan Weissmann of Slate thinks that “he’s just a little Trump-like. Trump with a warmer heart. Chaotic good, instead of chaotic evil, but still chaotic. He has no relevant experience in government, either as a legislator or a civil servant, and has never really run a large organization.” What this suggests is that “He’s a bit of a showman who exaggerates his accomplishments,” Weissmann writes. “Meanwhile, his campaign is basically being run by a lobbying firm staffed by ex-Bloombergites, which further makes me wonder whether you can really trust that he’ll push the more offbeat, progressive plans that make him stand out. At the same time, Kathryn Garcia appears to be a competent YIMBY with a long record of public service. So, there’s a better option.”
Flag This: New York’s Mayor Race
Two polls, “released Tuesday and early Wednesday morning, show a shift at the top of the race for the first time, less than a month before the June 22 primary,” Katie Honon observes for the Wall Street Journal. “A poll of 570 likely Democratic voters conducted by Emerson College and PIX11 News found 21% had selected Ms. Garcia as their top choice. A poll by lobbying firm Fontas Advisors and Core Decision Analytics showed Mr. Adams leading, with 18%.” June is shaping up to be a big month for the Big Apple.
Flag Poll: New York’s Mayor Race
Who would you put your weight behind in the New York City mayoral race? Comment below to share your thoughts.