As Governor Kathy Hochul seeks a full term as New York’s first female governor, she has moved quickly to secure the support of nearly every major Democrat in New York. A surprising resister: Mayor Eric Adams.
That will change on Wednesday, when the mayor plans to announce his support for Ms. Hochul at a rally in Manhattan – an important last-minute endorsement that could help him shore up support from New York voters in the Democratic primary in June 28.
In a statement shared with The New York Times, Adams said he and the governor quickly discovered ‘we shared the same priorities’ of improving public safety and access to child care and housing. , while making New York more affordable for workers. .
“Since then, Governor Hochul has been a true partner, working on behalf of ordinary New Yorkers — and it has delivered real results,” he said. “I look forward to years of continuing this work with Governor Hochul and working together to elevate this city and this state to new heights.”
The endorsement will serve to tighten an unlikely political alliance between Mr. Adams and Ms. Hochul, two centrist Democrats from very different backgrounds who nonetheless cast their spells together.
But the difference that 11th-hour support will make with voters will likely depend on whether Mr Adams, an aggressive messenger, chooses to fully engage the political network that won him the mayoralty last year and actively campaign. for Mrs. Hochul. in the last part of the race.
The two Democrats planned to start with a Wednesday morning rally in Manhattan with three powerful unions: Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ, the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council and District Council 37, New York’s largest municipal union.
Ms. Hochul, a Buffalo native who only took office last summer, had no trouble winning over New York’s hard-nosed political establishment, labor unions and the donor class. That money and party support alone will likely secure him victory this month in the primary, in which polls show his top colleague, Democratic Rep. Thomas R. Suozzi, and Jumaane D. Williams, the public advocate. of New York City, with healthy margins.
But the governor has struggled to make inroads and rouse the enthusiasm of black voters in Brooklyn and Queens and Latino voters in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, who sent Mr. Adams to office and have long shaped the basis of winning Democratic coalitions across the state. Tepid support there could complicate his chances of winning a general election in November, when Republicans believe they have their best shot at claiming a statewide office in New York in more than a decade. .
Republicans plan to try to capitalize on crime fears that have grown in cities across the state since the coronavirus pandemic began. As a former police officer who has so far made crime-fighting the hallmark of his administration, Mr. Adams could also prove an important voice in defending the governor, if he chooses. .
The governor said in a statement that she and Mr. Adams were “united” in fighting gun violence, improving public safety and reviving the city’s sluggish economy.
“We are committed to building a new chapter in our state’s history that is focused on teamwork, collaboration and progress on policy,” Ms. Hochul said.
However, Ms. Hochul clearly still has political work to do, including with some local leaders. So far, she notably hasn’t won the endorsement of Letitia James, New York’s attorney general, another politically popular black leader from Brooklyn who briefly ran her own campaign for governor.
Mr. Adams himself waited to support Ms. Hochul until the end of the annual legislative session in Albany, a move that may have helped increase his influence with the governor in negotiations over the mayor’s control of schools of New York, state support in New York. City public housing and expansion of the city’s speed camera program.
He may still be looking for additional leverage.
No later than Monday, Mr. Adams asked Ms. Hochul to veto a bill passed in the final days of the session imposing a two-year ban on new cryptocurrency mining permits. The governor has not publicly indicated whether she will sign or veto the bill, but she is also under intense pressure from environmental advocates to sign it.
Publicly, Mr. Adams and Ms. Hochul have been careful to project an amicable partnership, a marked contrast to their predecessors, Bill de Blasio and Andrew M. Cuomo, who spent most of eight years at war. Ms. Hochul spoke at Mr. Adams’ election night last fall; she publicly supported the mayor’s control of New York schools; and eventually included in the state budget certain changes to state bail laws pushed by Mr. Adams.
But below the surface there have been undercurrents of discontent from the mayor, who believes Ms Hochul could have pushed her priorities harder in the negotiations in Albany, according to people familiar with her thinking.
There are also signs that Mr. Adams’ own backing may be less compelling than it once was.
Recent polls have shown Mr Adams and Ms Hochul struggling to maintain their popularity amid fears of high crime, painful inflation and a New York labor market lagging behind the national average.
A recent survey by Spectrum News NY1 and Siena College found that only about a third of New Yorkers believe the city and state are on the right track, and 70% said they felt less safe since the pandemic. Residents gave Mr. Adams and Ms. Hochul only mediocre approval ratings.
The mayor’s decision will come as a disappointment to Mr. Suozzi, a Long Island centrist who had hoped his past support for Mr. Adams might lead to mutual approval or at least a pledge of neutrality as he tries to oust Ms. Hochul in the Democratic Primary. Mr Suozzi chose one of Mr Adams’ former deputies, Diana Reyna, as his running mate and campaigned on a tough-on-crime platform that mirrors that of the mayor.
“I still consider Eric Adams a brother, but if he’s going to stop rising crime in New York, he’s going to need a new governor in Albany who will fix bail reform,” Suozzi said afterward. approval on Tuesday. “I’m going.”
Mr. Adams has also enjoyed a friendly relationship with Mr. Williams, a fellow Brooklynite who challenges Ms. Hochul from the left.