Andrew Yang Officially Jumps Into New York City Mayor Race


Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang made his long-anticipated jump into New York City politics official Wednesday, announcing he will run for the open mayoral seat in what is already a crowded Democratic field.

Key Facts

Yang released a campaign video and launched a website Wednesday, promising to bring to New York City “the largest basic income program in history,” which was the signature issue he ran on during his 2020 presidential campaign.

He’s also promising to create a “people’s bank” to help poorer residents, while expanding access to high-speed internet and saying “We’ll take back control of our subway.”

Yang joins a Democratic field that already has over 20 candidates, including prominent local political figures like Eric Adams, the current Brooklyn borough president.

No other candidate had more than 7% support, but the poll found 40% either undecided or supporting a minor candidate.

Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) is term-limited and not eligible to run this year.

What To Watch For

Both the Democratic and Republican primaries are set for June 22, with the general election on Nov. 2.

Chief Critics

Concern has been raised about how well Yang will connect with New York City voters, given he is part of a mostly affluent minority of residents that fled the city during the coronavirus pandemic. His voting history also suggests he’s had little past interest in participating in local politics. He has never cast a vote in a New York City mayoral election before.

Key Background

Yang has lived in New York City for the past 25 years, after being born in Schenectady, New York and growing up in Westchester County, north of the city. Yang surged from obscurity into a mainstream Democratic contender in the party’s crowded field leading up to the 2020 primaries, largely through promoting himself online. His “Freedom Dividend” idea, which proposed creating a monthly universal basic income of $1,000 for every American, particularly made Yang stand out from the rest of the field. His campaign ultimately failed to attract voters to the polls, though, and Yang dropped out after only the second actual contest, the New Hampshire primary. He later joined CNN as a political commentator.

Further Reading

Yang Slammed After Trying To Justify Fleeing New York City During Pandemic (Forbes)