Top rivals in New York City's mayoral race made a surprise team-up on the campaign trail Saturday in a highly unusual and strategic move aimed at finding a new path to becoming mayor.
Supporters gathered in Queens early in the day to find Kathryn Garcia and Andrew Yang walking side-by-side down Main Street in Queens.
A crowd of hundreds gathered in Flushing chanting "Andrew Yang," in the moments before their candidate addressed them with a clear voting message days before Tuesday's primary election.
"If you support me, you should rank Kathryn Garcia No. 2 on your ballot," Yang said.
Get Tri-state area news and weather forecasts to your inbox. Sign up for NBC New York newsletters.
After that surprise announcement, Yang lead the crowd in chanting for Garcia. But in yet another twist, the former sanitation commissioner did not return the favor.
"Vote Garcia No. 1. Thank you so much," she said to the crowd.
The pair left the rally with Yang catching a ride in Garcia's official campaign vehicle from Flushing to Stuyvesant Town in Manhattan.
If there was any confusion after Yang's one-way endorsement, Garcia put the matter to bed.
"Let me be very clear. I am not co-endorsing. We are campaigning together and promoted ranked-choice voting," Garcia added.
The new alliance to hit the campaign trail was clearly aimed at stopping any momentum behind Eric Adams. The Brooklyn borough president's lead in this week's WNBC/Telemundo 47/POLITICO/Marist Poll was seven points over Garcia - followed by Maya Wiley, Yang, Scott Stringer, Ray McGuire, Diane Morales, and Shaun Donovan.
Saturday's unusual co-campaigning strategy popped up on the next to last day of early voting and three days before the primary.
Adams, meanwhile, was up in the Bronx focused once again on the city's spike in shootings, responding directly to a brazen sidewalk shooting the day before that nearly missed two young children.
"Every time it happens, we will stand up and talk about it," he said.
Adams dismissed the Yang-Garcia joint event as a desperation move, even calling it "hypocritical."
Elsewhere on the trail, Dianne Morales cast her vote in Brooklyn. Her campaign once the hope of those who want to defund the police.
While civil rights attorney Maya Wiley, who has consolidated progressive support behind her more nuanced vow for police reform, is in second place in some polls. Wiley is hoping to surprise Adams without an alliance with another candidate. She revealed Saturday that Yang had offered her the chance to co-campaign.
After seven days of early voting, the NYC Board of Elections says some 130,000 New Yorkers had voting across the five boroughs.