Ex-U.S. Housing Chief Shaun Donovan Announces NYC Mayoral Run

Shaun Donovan speaks during a virtual announcement of his candidacy for the 2021 New York City mayoral campaign, Tuesday Dec. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Former U.S. Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan announced his candidacy for mayor of New York City on Tuesday, joining a crowded June 2021 Democratic primary for mayor of the nation’s largest city.

“I am honored today to say that I am running for mayor of New York City to repair the civic fabric of the city, pull New Yorkers together to rebuild from the damage brought by COVID-19, and reimagine an innovative city that truly works for everyone,” Donovan said in announcing his run.

Donovan was appointed to various roles during former President Barack Obama’s administration, first heading the Department of Housing and Urban Development and then the Office of Management and Budget.

Donovan was previously commissioner of New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development under then-Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

The 54-year-old Donovan has never run for elective office before. A native New Yorker, he holds an undergraduate degree and two graduate degrees from Harvard University.

Other candidates who have announced they are running to succeed the term-limited Mayor Bill de Blasio include former city sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, former de Blasio counsel Maya Wiley and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. Former Citigroup executive Ray McGuire, another novice candidate, announced his mayoral run last week.

The June 22, 2021, primary will be the first New York City election that will use ranked choice voting, a system that will let people rank up to five candidates in order of preference.

A city ballot measure to adopt ranked choice voting passed in November 2019, but some City Council members are calling for its implementation to be delayed, saying they fear that inadequate voter education about the new system during the coronavirus pandemic will disenfranchise lower income voters.

The mayoral race may essentially be decided during the Democratic primary because Democrats outnumber Republicans in the city by a wide margin.

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