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In NYC Mayor's Race, a Strategic Pairing of Rivals

Andrew Yang and Kathryn Garcia team up to take advantage of ranked-choice system
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2021 9:25 AM CDT

(Newser) – New York's Democratic primary is in its final days, and the city's new voting system led to an odd sight on Saturday: Rivals Andrew Yang and Kathryn Garcia campaigned together, reports the Hill. The pair trail frontrunner Eric Adams, and they're taking advantage of this year's ranked-choice voting to try to make up ground. In Tuesday's primary, voters can rank up to five candidates on their ballots, and Yang and Garcia could hurt Adams by encouraging people to put him low on the list. Which is why Yang issued the following instructions to his backers, per Politico: “For anyone listening to my voice right now, if you support me, you should rank Kathryn number two on your ballot.” Garcia, for her part, didn't go quite as far—she didn't explicitly ask people to rank Yang second.

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“Let me be very clear, I'm not co-endorsing,” she told a crowd in Manhattan. “We are campaigning together. We are promoting ranked-choice voting.” Frontrunner Adams, who is Black, criticized the strategic pairing and lodged a volatile accusation, reports the New York Times. “For them to come together like they are doing in the last three days, they’re saying we can’t trust a person of color to be the mayor of the city of New York when this city is overwhelmingly people of color,” he said. When Yang fired back that "I've been Asian my entire life," Adams clarified that he was referring to Black and Latino candidates. (Garcia would be the first New York mayor who smokes in a long time.)

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