New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer declared his candidacy Tuesday for the Democratic nomination for mayor in the 2021 election. Stringer had long been expected to declare for the race, and is considered a leading contender.
Stringer made the announcement at a press conference at Inwood Hill Park in Upper Manhattan, near his childhood home. He recalled growing up in the neighborhood, and decried how “the real-estate companies and other profiteers wasted no time swooping in with luxury developments” that priced out the working class. “These speculators had a willing partner in City Hall through multiple administrations,” Stringer said, and promised that, as mayor, he would increase affordable housing in the city.
Noting that the next mayor will face an annual budget deficit in excess of $4 billion, Stringer said that he will “root out waste at every agency,” and “we will ask the most fortunate to pay a bit more in taxes.”
Addressing the hot-button issue of crime and anti-police sentiment, Stringer vowed to “bring leadership back to City Hall. It means taking on police violence, and systemic racism against people of color. It means a paradigm shift that keeps neighborhoods safe and recognizes the basic humanity in all of us.”
Stringer recounted the anti-police protests over allegations of abusive and racist behavior, and said, “In response, the mayor and the police commissioner repeatedly excuse the inexcusable, defend the indefensible, and failed to take responsibility for violence against New Yorkers,” pledging, “That ends the day I’m sworn in as mayor.”
As comptroller, Stringer invested pension funds in renewable energy and worked to divest from fossil fuels. On Tuesday, he said that “as mayor I’ll place a moratorium on all new fossil-fuel infrastructure in this city.”
In a shot at current Mayor Bill de Blasio, Stringer alleged, “We never closed the book on a tale of two cities; if anything, over the last eight years, we’ve written more chapters.”
Asked by a Hamodia reporter whether he will seek the endorsement of the Democratic Socialists of America, Stringer replied, “I am going to seek the endorsement of so many people, but to single out one group today over another, it would take hours.” He has previously endorsed several DSA candidates, but also recently criticized the organization’s questionnaire that asked prospective City Council candidates whether they would commit not to visit Israel.
Stringer has been serving as city comptroller since 2013, responsible for oversight of the city’s investment portfolio and financial statements, and providing support for small businesses and overlooking the budget. Previously, he served as Manhattan borough president from 2006 to 2013, and prior to that he represented the West Side in the New York State Assembly from 1992 to 2005.
Officials endorsing Stringer’s candidacy at Tuesday’s press conference included State Senators Robert Jackson, Alessandra Biaggi, Jessica Ramos, Julia Salazar and Brian Kavanagh; Assemblymembers Al Taylor, Catalina Cruz, Linda Rosenthal, Robert Carroll, Yuh-Line Niou; and Assembly candidate Amanda Septimo.
Assemblywoman Rosenthal said Stringer’s “commitment to this city is paramount, and he is the perfect candidate at the perfect time when we need a uniter, a healer … someone not afraid to enact their bold vision.”
In comments to Hamodia, Assemblywoman Cruz contrasted what she expects from a Stringer Administration with that of de Blasio’s, saying she has seen Stringer “not just thoroughly think through an issue, but actually set out plans on how to get the work done, and I think that’s something that’s been missing from the current administration, where, even when you have a good idea, there are sometimes no plans on how to carry it out, and I think our city deserves better.”
Other potential Democratic mayoral candidates include Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, former Department of Veterans’ Services Commissioner Loree K. Sutton, and Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn García, who abruptly resigned her position Tuesday morning, shortly before Stringer’s announcement. The primary election will be held June 22.
Rosenthal, asked by Hamodia on Tuesday to comment on other potential candidates, replied, “I think no one compares to Scott Stringer when it comes to having shown proven leadership, plans for the future that are doable and will improve everyone’s lives. And someone who’s scrupulously honest and doesn’t give you the sing song, dance around the issue – he actually is very transparent.”
All of Stringer’s endorsers Tuesday are state legislators. A source in a City Council office told Hamodia that Council members are unlikely to endorse a candidate other than Johnson earlier than just before the primary, “because members don’t want to complicate their relationship with the speaker in the months leading up to a budget.” The next budget is scheduled to be adopted within days of the 2021 primary.
Updated Tuesday, September 8, 2020 at 4:57 pm .