New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer formally announced his candidacy for mayor Tuesday, pledging to build the city back from the coronavirus pandemic and economic crisis if he is elected to succeed Bill de Blasio in 2021.
“This city is strong. Our people are strong. But they should not have to fight their way back on their own,” Stringer said in a speech outside his childhood home in upper Manhattan.
The 60-year-old Democrat got his start in city politics when he was appointed to his local community board at age 16. As comptroller, he is the city’s chief fiscal officer and chief auditor. He was first elected to the position in November 2013, when de Blasio was first elected mayor. Both are barred by the city charter from seeking reelection in 2021.
Stringer has previously served as Manhattan borough president and as a member of the state Assembly.
Stringer will likely be part of a crowded Democratic primary field in the first New York City election that will be determined by ranked choice voting, with voters ranking as many as five candidates in order of preference.
One of those fellow candidates could be Kathryn Garcia, who on Tuesday resigned from her post as the NYC Sanitation Commissioner. During her time in that position, she was tasked on multiple occasions with much more than keeping city streets clean. She was made the lead czar during a lead paint scandal in NYCHA housing, and the food czar to aid New Yorkers going hungry during the pandemic.
She proved to be a capable problem-solver during the de Blasio administration, but she told the mayor she could not stand by as City Hall's deep budget buts will eliminate hundreds of sanitation workers, while devastating the city's ability to recycle, remove snow and pick up garbage.
De Blasio thanked Garcia for everything she did in her long tenure leading the Sanitation Department. And while she didn't trash the mayor in her resignation letter, she did call the proposed cuts to her now-former department "unconscionable."
Others who have announced their intention to run include Maya Wiley, a former de Blasio counsel and former board chair of the NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board, and Loree Sutton, formerly the U.S. Army's highest-ranking psychiatrist and former Commissioner of the city's Department of Veterans' Services, a position she was appointed to by de Blasio. Citigroup executive Ray McGuire, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson each have also expressed interest in running for mayor.