On June 22, the next mayor of New York City will be crowned. Yes, this is a Democratic primary and there will, technically, be a general election, but the days of Mike Bloomberg spending tens of millions to bludgeon Democrats are no more. If you’re a registered Democrat, congrats—you’ll have a say in the city’s future. If not? You’re out of luck.
What to make of this sleepy race, lost in the shuffle of endless Andrew Cuomo scandals and that never-quite-over global pandemic? It’s still wide open. No Democrat has captured a majority of hearts and minds in any single poll. Your consistent leader is Andrew Yang, the former presidential candidate and entrepreneur, who is no longer promising a thousand bucks to everyone—with a municipal budget, he can’t—but who wants to bring a public bank and some other goodies (a geothermal power plant) to the five boroughs.
But the field is starting to gang up on Yang. The No. 2, and the person who could still win it all, is Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a combative former police captain with a knack for soundbites. Rounding out the top tier are a couple of liberals, City Comptroller Scott Stringer and former de Blasio counsel Maya Wiley, who are chasing the MSNBC set and maybe a few socialists.
And then there’s ranked-choice voting. In June, New Yorkers get to rank their top five picks, and if no one hits 50%—don’t worry, they won’t—lower-finishing candidates are automatically eliminated, dispersing their votes to whoever is ahead. The process repeats until a winner emerges. Sound good?
Yang has said he’d make Kathryn Garcia, another candidate who served under de Blasio, as sanitation commissioner, his second choice. Garcia hasn’t returned the favor. A surging left-wing candidate, Dianne Morales, has been courted by Stringer and Wiley for some alliance making—but maybe she leapfrogs them both. Wiley already asked voters to rank Morales No. 2 behind her. Ray McGuire, a millionaire business executive, hopes to spend the field into submission, though he lacks Bloomberg’s world-historical billions. And Shaun Donovan, who ran agencies under Bloomberg and Barack Obama, is counting on being everyone’s second choice.
How to sort through it all? The Voice, in our handy chart below, has you more than covered. Find your best bet for each category. ❖