Wednesday brought with it another labor endorsement for Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams.

“We need a blue-collar mayor to run a blue-collar city and respect the people of this city,” Adams said.

During a rousing speech, surrounded by the leaders of the municipal workers union DC37, the retired NYPD captain had this to say about one of his primary rivals.

“This is not a startup," Adams said. "This is a city where a leader must have been a worker. People like Andrew Yang never held a job in his entire life. And you are not gonna come to this city and think you are going to disregard the people who make this city work.”

What You Need To Know

  • The Democratic primary for mayor is heating up

  • Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams portrays himself as the working-class candidate

  • Andrew Yang has worked as a corporate lawyer, and has led businesses and non-profits
  • Yang and Adams seem to be leading the crowded field of candidates

A former corporate lawyer, Andrew Yang has had a long career as a businessman and non-profit executive. If elected, he would become New York’s first Asian-American mayor. 

His campaign quickly responded to Adams’ attacks with a statement that reads, in part, “Eric Adams today crossed a line with his false and reprehensible attacks. The timing of his hate-filled vitriol towards Andrew should not be lost on anyone. At a time when New Yorkers are asking for a leader who can unite us, Eric seems intent on dividing our city with lies and innuendo.”

Adams is trying to portray himself as the working-class candidate in the race, and has recently gotten a string of labor endorsements, including 32BJ and the Hotel Trades Council.

In the meantime, Yang has led an attention-grabbing campaign based on his name recognition after having run for President last year.

Both strategies might be working.

In a new poll last week sponsored by Fontas Advisors and Core Decision Analytics, Yang and Adams are the leading candidates among Democratic primary likely voters, with 16 and 10% respectively, even though half of those polled are still undecided.

Proponents of ranked-choice voting thought the new system would push candidates to avoid negative campaigning in fear of alienating voters.

That theory will definitely be put to the test in the coming weeks.