By David Cruz, Brigid Bergin, Wnyc and Gwynne Hogan, Gothamist
Kathryn Garcia and Maya Wiley, the top two runner-up candidates in the Democratic primary race for mayor, officially conceded in their run for City Hall on Wednesday, after falling behind Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams for the Democratic nomination.
During an announcement on Wednesday in Central Park, Garcia, the former city sanitation commissioner, said she called Adams to congratulate him on his victory.
“While it is only by a razor-thin margin, Eric Adams will be the winner of the Democratic primary,” Garcia said. She did not take questions.
Garcia’s announcement was held at a symbolic location, in front of the Women’s Rights Pioneer Monument. She said that “while women have a seat at the table, we have yet to sit at the head of it, but I know that that day is coming soon.” She encouraged more women to run for office, offering her support, and noting she was thankful in seeing greater female representation on the Council.
But Garcia’s message was clear: “We did not break that glass ceiling.” This was later contested by Maya Wiley, who said, “We did shatter the glass ceiling.”
“We did shatter the glass ceiling,” @mayawiley says arguing that this election proved that women could be top tier candidates in the mayor’s race and points to 29 women who won nominations as candidates to the City Council https://t.co/ct05exzr4y
— Brigid Bergin (@brigidbergin) July 7, 2021
Outside the Lucerne Hotel on the Upper West Side, which had been a temporary home for homeless New Yorkers, Wiley offered an optimistic concession speech that acknowledged the larger role women will play in the New York City Council. Flanked by supporters, Wiley said women “did break the glass ceiling.”
She added, “What we did, we built together…this mission is a movement that is bigger than me.”
The announcements effectively end the campaigns for Garcia and Wiley.
— David Cruz (@CWEBCRUZER) July 7, 2021
Garcia was considered a dark horse candidate, and ran with no institutional support from traditional players, like powerful public unions or the city’s major political power brokers, most of whom splintered between the campaigns of Adams and Wiley.
“I was told that I should set my sights lower, that I should set my sights on deputy mayor,” Garcia said. “I was told that I had no shot.”
For much of the race, she was at the sidelines of the crowded field, though the New York Times editorial board endorsement in mid-May, helped propel her to the front of the pack. Just before the Primary, she teamed up with Andrew Yang, who encouraged his energized base to rank her second, given the new ranked-choice voting system, but ultimately that wasn’t enough to push her over the finish line.
She carried just the borough of Manhattan on election night, while Adams held leads over all his rivals in the rest of the boroughs. A spokesperson for Garcia did not definitively say whether she will stump for Adams once he officially becomes the Democratic nominee for mayor. With more registered Democrats than Republicans in New York City, an Adams victory is all but assured in the November general election.
Adams made the rounds on television talk shows Wednesday morning, but did not mention his rival Garcia.
“This has been a 24-year journey of protecting the city that I love,” he said on Fox 5. “I’m going to take it to City Hall if the voters allow me to do so.”