5 takeaways from New York City mayoral candidates’ last campaign weekend
On the last day of early voting before Tuesday’s New York primary, the top eight Democratic candidates sprinted through the boroughs on Sunday, stopping at usual gathering points like churches, parks and barbecue grills, as they were trying to attract more voters.
They braved temperatures that reached nearly 90 degrees and canceled plans for Father’s Day, to shake hands and even hula hoop with supporters.
Here are five takeaways from the last campaign weekend.
Garcia and Yang team up, but avoid endorsements
Kathryn Garcia and Andrew Yang appeared in Chinatown together, marking the second time in as many days the couple met on the campaign trail. This earned the ire of favorite Eric Adams. (More on that later.)
Mr. Yang encouraged his supporters to mark Ms. Garcia as their second choice on the preferential ballots.
Garcia doesn’t reciprocate. She praised Mr. Yang, but she did not explicitly ask her supporters to vote for Mr. Yang.
The show of unity from two of the strongest candidates highlighted how complicated the ranked vote has made the race for mayor, and how rival candidates can band together in a ranked election to stem the momentum of a favorite. . In this case, Mr. Adams, the president of the borough of Brooklyn.
Charges of suppressing voters
This alliance does not go unnoticed. Prominent black leaders, including Representative Gregory W. Meeks of Queens, echoed Mr. Adams’ comments that the alliance is an attempt to dilute the voice of black voters.
Mr Adams said the show of unity is an attempt to prevent “a person of color” – especially a black or Latino person – from becoming mayor. H. Carl McCall, the former state comptroller, also criticized the decision, comparing it to the suppression of voters. Both men said they would rank Mr. Adams first or second on their ballots.
Mr. Yang rejected the charge that his alliance with Ms. Garcia’s was divisive. Ms Wiley disagreed with Mr Adams that the partnership aims to weaken the black vote, saying candidates will develop different strategies regarding the preferential vote.
“I will never play the race card lightly unless I see racism, and I don’t call it racism,” Ms. Wiley said.
Doubts about the publication of unofficial statements
Mr. Adams has never been a fan of preferential voting, which allows voters to select their top five candidates. Now he is raising questions about how the Elections Council plans to release the results as his campaign faces growing efforts by his opponents to slow his momentum.
Mr Adams, who declined to say who he would list as number 2, said the board of elections should not release results until they have the final tally. The city plans to start publishing subtotals and unofficial vote totals on Tuesday evening, after the polls close. And then they will periodically update the counts until a final count on July 12th.
If no candidate obtains the 50 percent plus one vote required for victory on the night of the primary, the ranking vote count process will begin.
Adams does not agree with the process but has said he will not fight it. “These are the rules. We have to follow the rules, ”he said. “We will tell our supporters and our constituents to be patient.”
Early voting on the first day of summer
New Yorkers did not rush to polling stations on Sunday, the last day of early voting. Instead, parks, beaches, restaurants, and bars were crowded across the five boroughs as temperatures hit nearly 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
It was a reversal from last year, when more than a million people waited hours in queues that stretched blocks to vote in the November presidential election. This time around, there were virtually no queues and the wait of only 20 minutes at the most crowded polling stations.
The candidates make it a family affair
Neither the heat nor Father’s Day could keep candidates away from the election campaign on Sunday, with some turning their final arguments to voters into a family affair.
Scott Stringer, a prominent candidate whose candidacy derailed over allegations of sexual assault, took his wife and two sons to canvas on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The two sons handed out brochures and wore Team Stringer t-shirts.
“I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Mr Stringer said of Father’s Day.
Andrew Yang made campaign stops in Forest Hill, encouraging young New Yorkers and their four-legged siblings to wish their fathers a Happy Father’s Day.
And New Yorkers across town celebrated Father’s Day with their families, with many still considering how they will vote on Tuesday.