Progressives Ponder Their Least-Worst Option In NYC Mayoral Race

Andrew Yang and Eric Adams both make the left’s skin crawl, but one of them is likely to be mayor.

6/12/2021 4:47:00 PM

Andrew Yang and Eric Adams both make the left’s skin crawl, but one of them is likely to be mayor.

Andrew Yang and Eric Adams both make the left’s skin crawl, but one of them is likely to be mayor.

Daniel MaransGetty ImagesEric Adams, left, and Andrew Yang are both close to big business and supportive of traditional policing. Progressives are trying to decide who is a bigger threat to their priorities.The New York City mayor’s race has beena nightmare

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for left-leaning voters.The campaigns of city Comptroller Scott Stringer and former nonprofit executive Dianne Morales ― respectively, the most seasoned and most ideologically pure progressive candidates ― have lost steam in varied but embarrassing ways, depriving the left of two its favored contenders.

Of course, no one can predict how ranked-choice voting, which allows voters to list their top five picks, will complicate the outcome.There’s still a chance that either former sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia ― a moderate tolerated by the left ― or Maya Wiley, a former counselor to Mayor Bill de Blasio ― a progressive behind whom the left is

coalescing at the last minute― will prevail in the June 22 Democratic primary.The most likely scenario, though, remains a showdown between the two moderate lightning rods who have dominated the polls for months ― former presidential candidateAndrew Yang

and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.Officially, progressive organizations eager not to prematurely give up on a Wiley upset have written off side-by-side assessments of Adams and Yang as a false choice ― or worse, a self-fulfilling prophecy.Instead, groups like Our City PAC are instructing progressive voters to omit both men from their ranked-choice ballot.

Progressives are asking which brand of rope they want to be hanged with.Sean McElwee, Data for Progress“Neither Yang nor Adams should get any support from anyone who shares our values,” said Gabe Tobias, a former campaign staffer for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who is running Our City PAC. “Both of them present really clear dangers to what we want to achieve in the city.”

But given thecriticism that Wiley elicitedfrom civil rights advocates during her tenure atop the New York Police Department’s Civilian Complaint Review Board, even her victory would be bittersweet for progressive stalwarts and socialists.“The potential for real, transformational change is very limited, no matter who wins,” said Matt Thomas, a Sunnyside, Queens, resident active in the New York City chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America.

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Privately, many progressive New York City voters have accepted the likelihood that either Yang, a former test prep entrepreneur who has never voted in a city election, or Adams, a former NYPD captain who was a registered Republican in the late 1990s, is going to be the next mayor.

With no guidance from progressive institutions like the Working Families Party, these voters are now deliberating over whether Yang or Adams is less objectionable, and thus which one is the lesser evil to rank fourth or fifth on their ballots, rather than omit altogether.

“Progressives are asking which brand of rope they want to be hanged with,” said Sean McElwee, a Harlem resident and co-founder of the think tank Data for Progress, who has not decided whom he prefers between Yang and Adams.Andrew Lichtenstein/Getty Images

Progressives are suspicious of Yang's ties to venture capitalist and political consultant Bradley Tusk.The Beast You Know Vs. A Fresh StartAsked about what makes Yang more progressive than Adams, Yang’s campaign emphasized his plans to provide $2,000 in cash relief to the 500,000 poorest New Yorkers, create a

“people’s bank”for unbanked New Yorkers, and decriminalize sex work. They also highlighted Yang’s support for a state-level, single-payer health care bill over which he would have no direct say as mayor.Sasha Ahuja, a social worker and former head of the city’s equal employment commission, told HuffPost that she took the job as co-manager of Yang’s campaign precisely because she was disappointed in de Blasio’s failure to live up to his progressive potential as mayor.

“In this moment, New York really needs a champion, really needs a big thinker who is going to move big ideas forward and is not going to say, ‘Oh, I can’t, because of such-and-such,’” Ahuja said.AdvertisementBoth Yang and Adams are cozy with real estate developers and have benefited from the support of super PACs funded by a handful of

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eager to elect a business-friendly mayor.And both men areof traditional policing. They decry calls to reduce police funding, want more cops in subways stations, and want to reconstitute the NYPD’s controversial plainclothes anti-crime unit. Read more: HuffPost »

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I assume Yang is now living in NY? He thinks money will solve everything. This is hysterical. Progressive Socialist won the on Democratic platform, using donations from Democrats but don’t support other Democrats. Past time to ban them from running as Democrats. KickThemAllOut. Yang is an empty suit. Adams is too entrenched. Garcia is the best choice.

They just had 8 years of a very progressive mayor. What happened to Stringer? Yang Adams Time for everyone to Rank Yang to block Adams. RankYangBlockAdams

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