Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Endorses Maya Wiley for New York Mayor

As the New York City mayoral election closes in, one candidate received a high-profile endorsement from representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Saturday.

At City Hall, the congresswoman made a speech declaring that she endorses mayoral candidate Maya Wiley, a civil rights lawyer and member of the Democratic party.

The endorsement from the progressive powerhouse could be a major boost for Wiley ahead of the Democratic primary election on June 22, followed by the general election on November 2.

"We cannot afford a future where New York becomes a playground for the wealthy," said Ocasio-Cortez. "That's why I think it's so important that we as a movement come together to make sure we send a progressive candidate to Gracie Mansion this month."

LIVE NOW with @AOC at City Hall. You're going to want to watch this one. https://t.co/2fRqhH3IPY

— Maya Wiley (@mayawiley) June 5, 2021

Wiley has received endorsements from state senator Julia Salazar and state assembly member Maritza Davila, who had previously endorsed Scott Stringer, as well as assembly member Emily Gallagher, reported WNYC.

Wiley also received endorsements on Friday from the Working Families Party and the 1199 union, two prominent unions in New York.

"Maya Wiley is uplifting the urgent matters facing our communities — from the need for truly affordable housing to divesting from the NYPD and investing in the care economy," Working Families Party state director Sochie Nnaemeka told NY1 in a statement.

"We are feeling the coalescence," Wiley said at the endorsement event on Friday. "But more importantly, it is clear—and I say this with a humble honor—that I'm the progressive who's going to win this race."

Endorsements from Ocasio-Cortez and others could help Wiley break out from behind the current frontrunners of the mayoral race, Eric Adams, Kathryn Garcia, and Andrew Yang.

As of May 25, Garcia had taken the lead over Adams and Yang in polling conducted by PIX11, NewsNation and Emerson College.

"We have an option of a candidate who can center people, racial justice, economic justice, and climate justice that didn't just come up to run for mayor, but has experience, and has a lifetime of dedication to this," Ocasio-Cortez said on Saturday. "And that candidate is Maya Wiley."

When you're both progressives, huggers, and ranking Maya Wiley #1 for mayor. See you again soon, @AOC! pic.twitter.com/DiL62436Nz

— Maya Wiley (@mayawiley) June 5, 2021

Other candidates and Democratic frontrunners, including Eric Adams and Andrew Yang, have received support from super PACs to boost their bids. Politico reported that Wiley is expected to get a $1 million boost from an outside PAC funded in part by George Soros.

"If we don't come together as a movement, we will get a New York City built by and for billionaires, and we need a city by and for working people," Ocasio-Cortez said Saturday. "So we will vote for Maya No. 1."

New York City is trying something new for the election this year, adopting a system of ranked-choice voting, which allows voters to rank their top five choices for candidacy in order of preference. If a candidate wins more than 50 percent of voters' first choice rank, they win. If no one exceeds 50 percent in the primary election, the candidate who came in last will be eliminated and all others move on to the next round, and so forth. Rounds of elimination continue until two candidates stand, and the most votes will win.

Wiley tweeted on Saturday, "Nobody says change like @AOC. And with AOC's help we are going to win this race and bring the change we need to the city we love."

This story is still developing and will updated.

US-POLITICS-OCASIO-CORTEZ
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Maya Wiley in the New York mayoral race on Saturday. Here she attends a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol on April 15, 2021. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)