Entrepreneur and former Democratic Presidential Nominee Andrew Yang hasn’t officially announced he will run for New York Mayor, but is already a popular candidate.
Yang hasn’t officially declared yet, but finalized the paperwork to run Wednesday. The Columbia and Brown graduate led more than a dozen candidates in a Public Policy Polling survey on NYC mayoral candidates. The businessman received 17% of the vote among 755 likely Democratic voters, giving him a one point lead over Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
Every other candidate finished at least 10 points behind including NYC Comptroller and former Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, former de Blasio aide Maya Wiley and Citi executive Ray McGuire.
Although he dropped out of the presidential race in early, Yang gained many progressive supporters with his proposal for a monthly $1,000 “Freedom Dividend” to every U.S. citizen over the age of 18 to offset job losses due to technological innovation. Yang is also a supporter of Medicare for all, taxing the rich and the four-day work week.
The progressive Democrat, began meeting with city leaders including City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Rev. Al Sharpton earlier this month and has named former Bloomberg staffers Bradley Tusks and Chris Coffey as advisors.
Last month, Yang announced on Twitter that he was moving to Georgia with his wife Evelyn to stump for Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the Georgia Senate runoffs.
Yang will become the second Asian-American to run for mayor following former New York Comptroller and current state Senator Jon Liu.
Next year’s race will also feature ranked choice voting. Under the system, voters will rank their top five candidates in order of preference, instead of casting a ballot for just one. If none of the candidates get the majority of the vote, the last place candidate is eliminated and their votes go to whoever those people voted for as their second choice.
According to Politico, ranked choice voting has been approved or in use in 18 cities across the U.S. including San Francisco and Minneapolis.