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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. Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio, who also is term-limited, won't rule out a run for president in 2020.

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.

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.

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."

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."

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

Melissa Mark-Viverito: Maybe

Mark-Viverito, the former City Council speaker who unsuccessfully ran for public advocate in February, has repeatedly left the door open for a 2021 mayoral run. 

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. 

Aaron Foldenauer: Yes

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

He is the only other candidate so far 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.

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 December 2018, she announced she will run for Queens district attorney in 2019. 

Current District Attorney Richard Brown, who has been in the position since 1991, will not seek re-election, he said in January.


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