Mayoral Race: As Yang battles controversy, other contenders look to stand out

New York Elections

NEW YORK — Nearly every day for weeks, Andrew Yang connected with voters across the five boroughs.

But Wednesday, Yang stepped away from the campaign trail, one day before the first televised debate and as fallout continued after his controversial tweet on the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

“Traditionally In New York City, there are a lot of pro-Israel voters,” said political analyst Morgan Pehme. “That tweet was tailored to reach out to that core constituency of voters.”

Yang’s post drew praise from conservatives like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

“The national Republicans trying to make hay of Andrew Yang’s tweet is really a desire to cause trouble and kind of troll one of the well known figures of Democratic politics,” added Pehme.

Yang’s tweet also sparked strong criticism, as the hashtag #YangSupportsGenocide began to trend on social media. Tuesday, he was uninvited to a Queens celebration for the Muslim festival Eid. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents parts of the Bronx and Queens in Congress, said it was “utterly shameful” that Yang had even considered going.

“I mourn for every Palestinian life taken before it’s time, as I do for every Israeli,” said Yang in a social media post Wednesday.

Other candidates were less amused and trying to stick to the campaign.

“I really don’t spend a lot of time looking at Mr. Yang’s tweets or I would be baffled every day,” said Comptroller Scott Stringer.

Stringer explained his views on the growing conflict to PIX11 News Wednesday.

“I do believe Israel has a right to defend itself, but I also think that we have to with the Palestinian people and the Israelis, get to a place where we can lower the volume and further prevent loss of life.”

Also new Wednesday in the race for City Hall, former sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia was a guest on WNYC Radio, discussing her recent New York Times endorsement and her plan to help the city come back from the pandemic.

“What we need to be doing is promoting New York City with the the ‘Rediscover NYC’ ad campaign,” she said.

Maya Wiley became the latest candidate to launch TV ads. In her first campaign commercial, Wiley said she was ready to help build a fairer New York.

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