Yang gets key endorsement from former opponent in NYC mayor race

New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang scored a key endorsement from a former opponent Wednesday in his quest to maintain his front-runner status in the race.

Yang’s campaign announced Wednesday that it’s winning the endorsement of Carlos Menchaca, a city councilman from Brooklyn and former mayoral contender himself.

Yang and Menchaca appeared together Wednesday morning before rolling out their plan make it easier for immigrants in the city to send money to their families in their home countries.

“Andrew Yang is exactly the kind of progressive leader we need to move this city forward. Andrew and I met on the campaign trail and from the start, it was clear he and I share the same values that put the needs of New Yorkers front and center, breaking free from the status quo to fight for big ideas,” Menchaca said in a statement.

Prior to departing the race in March, Menchaca positioned himself as one of the most left-leaning candidates in the race, advocating for policies like creating identification cards for undocumented immigrants and defunding the police.

Polls have shown Yang leading the crowded Democratic field in the race to replace term-limited Mayor Bill de Blasio (D). Yang shot to national prominence during his failed 2020 presidential campaign with proposals like a universal basic income that gained traction among a loyal online following. 

Surveys have consistently shown Yang with the highest name recognition of any candidate, though he’s faced skepticism from the progressive flank of the party for his pro-business stances.

Yang has sought to downplay those concerns with endorsements from Menchaca and prominent progressives like Rep. Ritchie Torres and Queens Assemblyman Ron Kim.

“We share a lot of values that are rooted in bringing community voices to the table to shape policies,” Menchaca told The New York Times, which first reported on the endorsement, explaining that he found Yang’s universal basic income proposal appealing. 

“As we continue to grow our movement, I could not be more excited to be receiving Carlos’ endorsement for Mayor of our great city. Carlos embodies the best of our city in so many ways. He is a young, progressive leader who has been fighting for marginalized communities for years. As we continue to share our positive, hopeful vision for moving New York forward, I’m honored to have Carlos by my side as part of the next generation of New York leadership,” Yang added in a press release. 

The mayoral primaries, which will use ranked-choice voting, will be held for both parties on June 22. Yang is running against about a dozen other Democrats in the party’s primary, the winner of which will be the heavy favorite to take the Nov. 2 general election. 

Updated at 1:04 p.m.

Tags Andrew Yang Bill de Blasio Carlos Menchaca Universal Basic Income

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