Ahead of Tuesday’s first day of the race for mayor of New York, candidates spread across the city in a last ditch effort to garner a few more votes before the polls opened in the morning.
Leader Eric Adams told fans in Queens that “I have to be careful right now – I’m telling people to rank whoever you want.” The comment comes after the weekend’s partnership between rivals Kathryn Garcia and Andrew Yang, which was clearly aimed at catching Adams off guard.
A crowd of hundreds gathered in Flushing on Saturday chanting “Andrew Yang”, in the moments before their candidate sent them a clear voting message in the final days of the race: “If you support me, you should rank Kathryn Garcia # 2 on your ballot. “
Yang continued her support for Garcia on Monday, saying that “people know I love and admire Kathryn, I ask my supporters to also support Kathryn on their ballot as a second choice.”
Ranked choice voting debuts Tuesday in the New York mayor’s primary. Rather than choosing a single candidate, voters can rank several in order of preference. NBC New York’s Ida Siegal reports.
Garcia didn’t say much about the newly formed alliance on Monday, saying instead that it focused on “getting people to vote.” I want it to be the simplest thing possible ”.
However, later that day she said that the skepticism and cynicism coming from Adams and current Mayor Bill de Blasio regarding the co-endorsement was like “a pot calling the black pot … I wasn’t one. politician, but these two tarnish people who have been in politics for a long time. Maybe they see more than there is because that’s how they would approach it. “
The co-approval strategy was inspired by New York’s first ever-ranked choice voting system this election, and led to some slightly awkward moments. Garcia forced a smile as the crowd sang loudly for Yang, who she was there with.
How Ranked Choice Voting Works
The 2021 New York mayor election is the first city-wide race to use the new voting system
For his part, Adams tried not to pay much attention to the partnership, showing fans in Queens that he is literally pushing it aside. But hours earlier on CNN, the Brooklyn Borough President compared the Garcia-Yang alliance to acts of voter suppression.
“African Americans are very clear about removing voters – we know the tax ballot, we know the fight we’ve had historically,” Adams said, echoing similar calls by some of his supporters that the rivals’ tactics were racist.
However, another prominent candidate in the race, civil rights lawyer Maya Wiley, said the accusation was unfair.
“The candidates are making the best choices regarding their strategies, which is what Yang and Garcia have done,” she said. “It’s not racism, it’s the way the system works.”
Yang responded to Adams’ criticism on Monday, warning that the objections could be a glimpse of what an Adams administration would look like.
“The last thing New York City needs is a mayor who uses racial bait whenever he’s criticized,” Yang said.
Adams rose to the top of recent polls (topping eight points in an NY1 / Ipsos poll released Monday, with Yang in second and Garcia in third) with a harsh message against crime, which he deepened on Monday as he offered a victim of the Queens shooting his personal cell phone number.
Whoever prevails in the Democratic primary will face the winner of the GOP contest between livery and bodega defender Fernando Mateo and Guardian founder Angel Curtis Sliwa – which was again endorsed by the former New York mayor. and Trump lawyer Rude Giuliani.
“New York cannot vote for a Republican. Who wrote that rule?” Giuliani asked a small crowd of supporters.
Sliwa plans to vote early Tuesday morning, while Mateo voted early. Most Democrats chose to vote early, but Adams is also expected to vote early Tuesday morning.
And while voters can have their final say on Tuesday, don’t expect the final results to be anytime soon.