As Gov. Kathy Hochul seeks a full term as New York’s first female governor, she has made rapid progress in gaining the support of nearly every major New York Democrat. An amazing catch: Mayor Eric Adams.
That will change on Wednesday, when the mayor plans to announce his support for Ms. Hochul at a rally in Manhattan, a major last-minute endorsement that could help consolidate support among New York City voters in the June 28 Democratic primary.
In a statement shared with The New York Times, Adams said he and the governor quickly found that they “shared the same priorities” of improving public safety and access to child care and housing, while making New York more accessible to workers. .
“Since then, Governor Hochul has been a true partner, working on behalf of everyday New Yorkers, and it has yielded real results,” he said. “I look forward to continuing that work over the next few years with Governor Hochul and working together to elevate this city and state to new heights.”
The support will serve to strengthen an unlikely political alliance between Mr. Adams and Mrs. Hochul, two centrist Democrats of totally different backgrounds who nevertheless came together.
But the difference that will make the 11 o’clock support with the voters will probably depend on whether Mr. Adams, an aggressive messenger, chooses to participate fully in the political network that won him the mayoralty last year and campaign actively for Ms. Hochul. in the waning stretch of the race.
The two Democrats planned to begin a rally Wednesday morning in Manhattan with three powerful unions: Local 32BJ of the International Service Employees Union, the Hotel and Gaming Council of Commerce, and District 37 Council, the city’s largest municipal union. of New York.
Ms. Hochul, a Buffalo native who only took office last summer, had no trouble winning over the muscular New York political establishment, the unions, and the donor class. That money and the support of the party alone are likely to secure their victory this month in the primaries, in which polls show their top fellow Democratic representatives Thomas R. Suozzi and Jumaane D. Williams, New York City’s public defender , by healthy margins.
But the governor struggled to make inroads and spark enthusiasm among Brooklyn and Queens black voters and Brooklyn, Queens and Bronx Latino voters, who sent Mr. Adams in charge and have long formed the basis of winning Democratic coalitions across the state. Warm support there could complicate his chances of winning a general election in November, when Republicans believe they have the best option of claiming a state office in New York in more than a decade.
Republicans plan to try to take advantage of fears about crime that have grown in cities across the state since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. As a former police officer who has made the fight against crime the hallmark of his administration so far, Mr. Adams could also be an important voice in defending the governor, if he so chooses.
The governor said in a statement that she and Mr. Adams was “united” to fight armed violence, improve public safety, and restart the city’s slow economy.
“We are committed to building a new chapter in our state’s history that is focused on teamwork, collaboration, and policy progress,” Hochul said.
However, Ms. Hochul still has political work to do, even with some local leaders. In particular, he has so far failed to gain the backing of Letitia James, the New York Attorney General, another politically popular black leader in Brooklyn who has briefly carried out his own campaign to govern.
Mr Adams himself has hoped to support Ms Hochul until after the conclusion of the annual legislative session in Albany, a move that could help increase her influence with the governor in negotiations over control of New York City schools, state in New York. City public housing and an expansion of the city’s radar program.
You may still be looking for more influence.
On Monday, Mr. Adams asked Ms. Hochul to veto a bill passed in the last days of the session that would impose a two-year ban on new cryptocurrency mining permits. The alderman has not publicly indicated whether he will sign or veto the bill, but he is also under intense pressure from environmentalists to sign it.
Publicly, Mr. Adams and Mrs. Hochul struggled to design a friendly partnership, a stark contrast to their predecessors, Bill de Blasio and Andrew M. Cuomo, who spent most of their eight years at war. Ms. Hochul spoke at the victory party on election night for Mr. Hochul. Adams last fall; publicly supported the mayor’s control of New York City schools; and finally included in the state budget some changes in the state bail laws driven by Mr. Adams.
But beneath the surface, there have been currents of discontent on the part of the mayor, who believes Ms Hochul could have put more pressure on her priorities in the Albany negotiations, according to people familiar with her thinking.
There are also indications that Mr. Adams may be less convincing than he was before.
Recent surveys have shown that both Mr. Adams and Ms. Hochul are struggling to maintain their popularity amid fears about high crime, painful inflation, and a labor market in New York that is behind the national average.
A recent survey by Spectrum News NY1 and Siena College found that only about a third of New York City residents believe the city and state are on the right track, and 70 percent said they feel less secure since the pandemic. Residents gave Mr. Adams and Ms. Hochul only an average rating of approval.
The mayor’s decision will be a disappointment to Mr. Suozzi, a Long Island centrist who hoped his past support for Mr. Adams could lead to mutual support or at least a promise of neutrality as he tries to oust Ms Hochul in the Democratic primary. Mr. Suozzi chose one of the former deputies of Mr. Adams, Diana Reyna, as his formula partner and campaigned on a hard platform against crime that is the mirror of that of the mayor.
“I still consider Eric Adams a brother, but if he wants to stop rising crime in New York City, he will need a new governor in Albany to fix bail reform,” Suozzi said after approval on Tuesday. “I would.”
Adams also maintained a friendly relationship with Mr. Williams, a fellow Brooklyn fellow who is challenging Ms. Hochul from the left.