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Who's running for NYC mayor? A rundown of possible 2021 candidates

Some contenders are already raising money for campaigns to succeed Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The next New York City mayor will be

The next New York City mayor will be elected in 2021. Photo Credit: Samantha Wieder

We're still two years away from the next New York City mayoral election, but possible contenders have already started raising money.

There's speculation mounting around a number of politicians who are term-limited in their current roles and could have eyes on Gracie Mansion. 

Here's a look at some of the possible mayoral candidates.

Ruben Diaz Jr.: Yes

The Bronx borough president was the first to file campaign finance documents specifying that he is raising money to run for mayor in 2021.

When Diaz was asked by Bronx comedians Desus and Mero if he wanted to move to a new house ("maybe one that's white?") in a video published on Feb. 20, he said, "No, but I would like to go to another house perhaps in the east side of New York City called Gracie Mansion."

Before becoming borough president, Diaz was a New York State Assembly member. His current and last term as borough president is through 2021.

Aaron Foldenauer: Yes

Foldenauer is an attorney who challenged City Councilwoman Margaret Chin (Manhattan-1) for her seat in 2017.

He was one of the first candidates to file campaign finance disclosure forms indicating he is running for mayor in 2021.

As a lawyer, he has worked on business and intellectual property lawsuits. He has lived in lower Manhattan for 13 years, according to his campaign website.

Dianne Morales: Yes

Morales, a Bed-Stuy native, is the executive director and CEO of Phipps Neighborhoods, a social services nonprofit.

Earlier this year, she was being considered to lead the city’s Equal Employment Practices Commission. But, in July, she declared her run for mayor with the Campaign Finance Board.

"Dianne Morales is running for mayor of New York City because she believes that our city thrives when every family has a pathway to economic opportunity and every child has access to quality education," it says on her campaign website. “She refuses to accept the 'norms' of our children failing in school, our youth dying on the streets and our mothers living in disproportionate poverty.”

Joycelyn Taylor: Yes 

Taylor, another candidate who has declared with the Campaign Finance Board, is the CEO of a contracting company, TaylorMade.

In a statement to City & State, her campaign said Taylor is "running as the insurgent common sense candidate who will be the first woman mayor of NYC."

Eric Adams: Most Likely

Adams, the current Brooklyn borough president, told The New York Times in April 2018 that he is "pursuing" a run, but has not declared himself a candidate. Like Diaz, Adams is serving his final term as borough president.

"I want to be extremely clear, I am pursuing running for mayor," he said. "It’s different from a formal announcement."

He is registered with the Campaign Finance Board for an "undeclared" 2021 race.

But after a recent release of fundraising numbers, a spokesman for Adams nearly confirmed that he is running for mayor. 

“New Yorkers believe in Eric and trust that he shares their vision for our city — that’s why so many of them from such diverse backgrounds are supporting his campaign to lead the five boroughs,” campaign representative Evan Thies told the Brooklyn Paper

Adams is a former New York State senator and police officer.

Scott Stringer: Most likely

Stringer, the city's comptroller, hasn't said officially that he plans to run for mayor, but he has been fundraising for a 2021 race. 

"I’m building a political foundation for whatever comes next," he told The New York Times in April 2018. "I love public service. I want to continue serving this city. Part of that is building the financial infrastructure to be competitive in 2021."

He has the most cash on hand among the mayoral hopefuls, with $2.8 million, according to the Campaign Finance Board.

Stringer previously served as Manhattan borough president and a New York State Assembly member. He is serving his second and final term as comptroller.

Corey Johnson: Maybe

The City Council speaker said in January he is considering a "people-powered mayoral run," for which he would not accept donations from the real estate industry, lobbyists or corporate PACs. 

When Johnson became speaker in January 2018, he told The New York Times that he "never" wants to be mayor, but a few weeks later, in an interview on WCBS 800, he said, "You can never say 'never'" when asked about running for the highest city office.

Johnson, the first openly gay and HIV positive City Council speaker, has represented Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Greenwich Village and parts of SoHo and midtown since 2014.

Melissa Mark-Viverito: Maybe

Mark-Viverito, the former City Council speaker, has repeatedly left the door open for a 2021 mayoral run; however, she announced in early August that she will run for Congress in the Bronx in 2020. 

Still, if that bid doesn't work out, she could still have aspirations for the city's highest office.

When asked if she was interested in running for mayor in an amNewYork questionnaire for public advocate candidates, she said, "I’m not going to lie like other candidates who say one thing and then run anyway. I don’t know what my plans are for the future — and that’s the truth."

Mark-Viverito served in the City Council for 12 years, representing parts of the South Bronx and upper Manhattan. Before that, she was a member of a Manhattan community board and a union organizer. 

Eric Ulrich: Maybe

Ulrich, a current City Council member who unsuccessfully ran for public advocate, has expressed interest in running for mayor after choosing not to run against de Blasio in 2017.

In an amNewYork questionnaire for public advocate candidates, Ulrich was the only candidate out of 15 who answered "Yes" to the question, "Yes or No: Are you interested in running for mayor in 2021?"

Ulrich, a Republican, has represented Ozone Park, Howard Beach, Rockaway Park and other parts of Queens in the City Council since 2009.

Melinda Katz: No

The Queens borough president had been considered a possible contender, but in July she was declared the winner of the Queens district attorney Democratic primary and is heavily favored to win the general election in November.

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