New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang broke with other contenders during a heated debate on Wednesday night, acknowledging that he would welcome support from embattled current Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the city’s upcoming Democratic primary.
A debate moderator asked the eight candidates on stage at the live debate to raise their hands if they wanted an endorsement from de Blasio and Cuomo, Democratic leaders who have faced bipartisan criticism over their leadership during the coronavirus pandemic. In both cases, Yang was the only candidate to raise his hand.
Yang indicated he would welcome support from de Blasio despite frequently targeting the mayor’s missteps during the debate. The former Democratic presidential candidate said he would grade de Blasio’s tenure as “incomplete” because the mayor still had time not to “squander” federal COVID-19 aid money.
Yang fended off attacks from other candidates throughout the debate, the first in-person event of its kind during the race. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, former New York City Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia and Yang are considered three frontrunners in a crowded field that has yet to yield a clear favorite.