Photo-Illustration: Intelligencer
one great story

New York City Mayoral Race 2021

Everything you need to know about the primary candidates.

Photo-Illustration: Intelligencer

This article was featured in One Great Story, New York’s reading recommendation newsletter. Sign up here to get it nightly.

On June 22, New Yorkers will vote in the primary that is all but certain to determine the next mayor, one who will immediately personify — and, to a large extent, shape — the city’s next era. For the first time, they will vote for not just one candidate but five, listed in order of preference. We wanted to get to know them, on policies and as people. Consider this your everything guide to 2021 mayoral primary candidates, featuring video interviews with Nicolas Heller (@newyorknico), a.k.a. the city’s unofficial mayor, covering everything from bagel orders and favorite New York movies to proposals on policing, education, and pandemic recovery; a photo portfolio by the great Bruce Gilden; an epic collection of what candidates can’t live without on the Strategist; and a look at how New Yorkers are thinking about their first foray into ranked-choice voting.

.

Rank Me: 15 Candidates for Mayor, Each Selling a Different Vision of the City

Photo-Illustration: by New York Magazine; Photos by Bruce Gilden

With 13 Democrats and two Republicans appearing on the primary ballots, ranked choice has introduced even more uncertainty into what was already a fluid race. Most of the campaigns can’t predict how it will shake out, and experts doubt that most voters will even bother filling out all the slots on their ballot. Here, meet all 15 candidates on the ballot, photographed by Bruce Gilden, interviewed by Nicolas Heller, and featuring political columnist David Freedlander on the state of the race. Read the candidate dossiers.

.

Fran Lebowitz, Chelsea Manning, and More Share Their Ranked-Choice-Voting Strategies

Illustration: New York Magazine

Ranked-choice voting was a longtime priority of good-government types who thought it would enable more candidates to enter the race, force them to campaign all over the city, and provide for a more congenial contest, since candidates would aim to be the second or third choice of their rivals’ supporters. Take a sneak peek at how New Yorkers have stacked the candidates — a decision that mixes absolute preference with a little bit of game theory, each of us feeling out how best to play a game we’ve never played before. Read the ballots.

.

What 10 New York City Mayoral Candidates Can’t Live Without

Illustration: Lyne Lucien/The Strategist/Getty/Courtesy

From the Super Mario–edition Monopoly Andrew Yang uses to engage the kids on family-game night, to the two razors Ray McGuire relies on for grooming (one for his head, the other his face), to the individually packaged wipes a NY1 makeup artist recommended to Scott Stringer for glasses-cleaning, we heard about lots of particularly useful stuff in speaking with the candidates. We also discovered some are more alike than they may seem. Kathryn Garcia, Dianne Morales, and Maya Wiley all say mascara is a key component of their no-makeup makeup routines. Fernando Mateo and Eric Adams start each day by making a smoothie in a NutriBullet. Shaun Donovan and Curtis Sliwa write everything down on unlined note cards. And, like most people, many of the candidates told us they can’t live without comfy shoes, though very different styles. Read the interviews.

.

Watch New York Nico Interview the Candidates

After countless Zoom forums and Instagram Q&As and endorsement take-backs, most New Yorkers still don’t know these candidates. So we teamed up with the city’s unofficial talent scout, New York Nico, to really get to know them. All of them. Why should we trust them? What is their stance on policing? How much weed do they smoke? And every other question New Yorkers might want to ask their next mayor before they head into the voting booth. Watch the video.

Everything You Need to Know About the NYC Mayoral Candidates