Standing in the shadow of City Hall on Saturday, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - the powerhouse Queens and Bronx representative considered a national leader in the left wing of her party, sent a clear message to her followers: Maya Wiley is her number one choice in the race for mayor.
What You Need To Know
- It's a much needed boost for Wiley at a pivotal time, just days before New Yorkers head to the ballot box
- Wiley's campaign has been lagging in the polls, only now are signs emerging that the city's progressive movement is lining up behind her
- Ocasio-Cortez also rallied alongside a slate of 60 City Council candidates - they all have her stamp of approval
"Maya Wiley is the one, she will be a progressive in Gracie Mansion," Ocasio-Cortez said.
It's a much needed boost for Wiley at a pivotal time, just days before New Yorkers head to the ballot box.
"I am so humbled to have the congresswoman make loud and clear that I am the progressive choice in this race and that we are going to get it done," Wiley said.
Wiley's campaign has been lagging in the polls - only now are signs emerging that the city's progressive movement is lining up behind her.
“This is right on time,” Wiley told NY1. “We’ve really been building a progressive coalition all along the way and this for us is part of that natural trajectory."
Speaking to supporters, Ocasio-Cortez said the city's progressives need to come together in support of Wiley, a civil rights lawyer, former counsel to Mayor de Blasio and MSNBC analyst.
"It's so important that we come together as a movement and we rank Maya number one," Ocasio-Cortez said.
The movement has been fractured for months.
A majority of the city's progressive lawmakers and organizations had initially lined up behind Comptroller Scott Stringer, but his campaign was shaken after he was accused of sexual misconduct by a former campaign volunteer.
Dianne Morales, considered the most left-leaning candidate in the race, picked up surprise support but then faced campaign strife of her own after her staff tried to unionize and accused of her ignoring bad behavior.
Ocasio-Cortez said the upheaval was not a sign of a split in the party, rather an abundance of options.
"To me that discourse, the robustness of that discourse, that debate actually signifies the strength of the progressive movement in New York city," Ocasio-Cortez told NY1. "The fact that we've had so many candidates with so many progressive priorities and platforms is a good thing."
Although she did not mention them by name, but the Congresswoman criticized the moderates in the field - Eric Adams, Andrew Yang and Kathryn Garcia for their approach to policing and public safety.
“We've already tried broken windows. We've already tried Giuliani's New York,” she said. “Candidates who we are seeing, with this rhetoric on safety, really doubling and tripling down on policing with strategies that aren't evidence-based to actually bring down crime is what we need to be concerned about."
Before endorsing Wiley, Ocasio-Cortez rallied alongside a slate of 60 City Council candidates - they all have her stamp of approval.
Despite the congresswoman’s endorsement, polls so far show voters are leaning towards the three moderates in the race: Eric Adams, Andrew Yang, and Kathryn Garcia.
Whether New Yorkers want a progressive as their next mayor will ultimately be decided at the polls. Early voting starts next Saturday. Primary day is June 22.