Preparation for 2021 Endorsements

New York City’s 2021 primaries may be the most consequential we’ve ever had. Mayor, Comptroller, Manhattan Borough President, Manhattan District Attorney are all open seats, with many qualified candidates running in all these races, and the post-pandemic fate of our city on the line.

Add to that the unpredictability of ranked-choice voting being offered to voters for the first time ever, and the burden on voters to educate themselves on the candidates and issues becomes even heavier. You can’t just decide who your favorite candidate is, you should be thinking of four other candidates you find acceptable as well.

That’s even more true for members of local political clubs like Grand Street Dems, who are often asked by their neighbors for advice about complicated local races.

GSD will be voting on endorsements in all these races on Monday, February 8. Below is a compendium of information we have for each of the campaigns and candidates.

New York City Mayor

Mayor Bill de Blasio is term-limited. There are too many candidates to review in full; many of them have done so little fundraising and campaigning that it’s fair to say they have no chance of getting elected. We are focusing on a still-large number of viable candidates.

Watch our candidate forum from February:

CandidateCurrent OccupationVID Questionnaire
Eric AdamsBrooklyn Borough PresidentLink
Shaun DonovanFormer Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban DevelopmentLink
Kathryn GarciaFormer Commissioner, NYC Department of SanitationLink
Ray McGuireFormer vice chair, Citigroupn/a
Carlos MenchacaCouncilmember (CD-38)n/a
Dianne MoralesExecutive Director/CEO, Phipps NeighborhoodsLink
Scott StringerNYC ComptrollerLink
Loree SuttonFormer Commissioner, NYC Department of Veterans’ Services; Retired Brigadier GeneralLink
Maya WileyProfessor, New School; Former Chair, CCRB; Former counsel, NYC Mayor’s officeLink
Andrew YangFounder, Venture for AmericaLink

New York City Public Advocate

Jumaane Williams won a special election for Public Advocate in 2019, and is now running for re-election against three challengers.

Our virtual forum with these candidates will be on Saturday, February 6 at 12:00 pm.

Register for Zoom:

CandidateCurrent OccupationVID Questionnaire
Theo Chino2019 Public Advocate candidateLink
Gwen Goodwin2019 Public Advocate candidate; City Council candidate in 2013 and 2017n/a
Tony Herbert2019 Public Advocate candidate; 2014 NY Assembly candidate (AD-55)n/a
Jumaane WilliamsNYC Public Advocate (incumbent)n/a

New York City Comptroller

Current Comptroller Scott Stringer is term-limited (and running now for Mayor). At least five candidates are now running for this open city-wide position, though the final list of candidates is still in flux (Zach Iscol, for example, just recently announced he would not run for Mayor and is running for Comptroller instead).

Watch our candidate forum from January:

CandidateCurrent OccupationVID Questionnaire
Brian BenjaminState Senator (SD-30)Link
Zach IscolCEO/Founder, Grid North Groupn/a
Brad LanderCouncilmember (CD-39)Link
Kevin ParkerState Senator (SD-21)Link
David WeprinAssemblymember (AD-24)Link

Manhattan Borough President

Current B.P. Gale Brewer is term-limited (and now running for City Council). We have six candidates running for this open seat.

Watch our candidate forum from January:

CandidateCurrent OccupationVID Questionnaire
Lindsey BoylanFormer Deputy Secretary for Economic Development and Housing for the State of New YorkLink
Elizabeth CaputoU.S. Government Engagement, World Economic Forum; former Chair of Community Board 7Link
Brad HoylmanState Senator (SD-27)Link
Ben KallosCouncilmember (CD-05)Link
Mark LevineCouncilmember (CD-07)n/a
Kim WatkinsPresident, Community Education Council District 3Link

Manhattan District Attorney

Current D.A. Cyrus Vance does not appear to be running for re-election (though has not yet officially made his intentions clear). There are eight candidates running to replace him.

Note that since this is technically a state position, there will not be ranked choice voting for this position in June; you will only be able to vote for one candidate, and whoever wins a plurality will be the Democratic nominee.

Watch our candidate forum from December:

CandidateCurrent OccupationVID Questionnaire
Tahanie AboushiCivil rights attorney; Partner, Aboushi Law Firmn/a
Alvin BraggFormer Chief Deputy Attorney General, NYS Attorney GeneralLink
Liz CrottyPartner, Crotty Saland PC; Former prosecutor, Manhattan DALink
Tali Farhardian WeinsteinFormer general counsel, Brooklyn DA; Former counsel, US Attorney GeneralLink
Diana FlorenceFormer Attorney-in-Charge, Construction Fraud Task Force, Manhattan DALink
Lucy LangFormer Executive Director, Institute for Innovation in Prosecution at John Jay College; Former special counsel, Manhattan DALink
Eliza OrlinsPublic defender; Staff Attorney, Legal Aid SocietyLink
Dan QuartAssemblymember (AD-73)Link

City Council District 2

Current Councilmember Carlina Rivera is finishing her first term and running for re-election. She is running unopposed for the Democratic primary.

Watch our candidate interview with Rivera:

CandidateCurrent OccupationVID Questionnaire
Carlina RiveraCouncilmember (CD-02)n/a