The former tech executive, who was born in upstate New York and has lived for years in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan, has been telling New York power brokers that he intends to run although no announcement is expected until next month, according to new reports Friday. The Democratic primary is in June.
Those Yang has tapped for advice recently are said to include NYC City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. He plans to meet with Rev. Al Sharpton next week when he returns to the city from Georgia, where he has been trying to help Democrats in two heated U.S. Senate runoffs. And he has called on two prominent political strategists who worked for former Mayor Michael Bloomberg as advisers, according to the New York Times Friday.
Yang’s presidential campaign included a pledge of universal basic income and his MATH slogan — Make America Think Harder — got lots of publicity and nearly $40 million in campaign contributions.
New York’s rough-and-tumble politics can be unexpected and feature famous names. De Blasio swept in to unseat front-runner Christine Quinn in in primaries in 2013. Quinn is a former City Council speaker, who reportedly may run again. Actress Cynthia Nixon failed in a run for governor in 2018.
The mayoral race has over a dozen candidates in the mix, including longtime politicians and outsiders including Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams, city comptroller Scott Stringer and lawyer Maya Wiley, a former MSNBC contributor. On Thursday, Representative Max Rose, who lost his re-election bid last month, registered a mayoral campaign committee with the city’s Campaign Finance Board, the NYT said.
Yang told the paper earlier this year he would “take a long look” at a run since “the mayor of New York City can do a lot of good.”