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NYC Might Elect First Smoker as Mayor Since '65

Kathryn Garcia says she plans to quit
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2021 3:26 AM CDT

(Newser) – New Yorkers will choose their candidates for mayor in primaries next week—and the New York Post has zeroed in on something unusual about Kathryn Garcia, one of the Democratic front-runners. Garcia, the city's former sanitation commissioner, smokes up to a pack of Marlboro Golds a day. If she gets elected and is unable to kick the habit, she would become the city's first cigarette-smoking mayor since Robert Wagner left office in 1965, according to the Post, though Rudy Giuliani was a cigar smoker.

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Garcia tells the Post she's aware she will be a role model for young women if she becomes the city's first female mayor, and she plans to work hard on quitting if elected. The 51-year-old says she'll focus on exercise, but will also use "Nicorette, the patch, whatever makes it possible." The primaries—which will feature ranked-choice voting for the first time—are June 22, and the Democratic race is still a toss-up after Wednesday night's final debate, Politico reports. Polls released this week put Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams in first place, with Garcia in second and civil right lawyer Maya Wiley third. Former front-runner Andrew Yang is in fourth place. (The New York Times has made its endorsement.)

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