New York Times Endorses Ex-Trash Chief Kathryn Garcia for Mayor

The New York Times on Monday endorsed former City Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia for mayor, saying she “best understands how to get New York back on its feet.”

The race to succeed Bill de Blasio is “perhaps the most consequential mayoral contest in a generation,” the Times said in its endorsement. The primary is June 22.

“The city requires someone who can take charge right away, with fervor and confidence,” the Times said.

The Times’s endorsement could be a crucial breakthrough for Garcia, with potential to upend the race, said William Cunningham, a Democratic communications adviser to former Senator Daniel Moynihan and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, and Bloomberg News. The endorsement follows articles in the Times and The New Yorker Magazine that described Garcia as the most knowledgeable candidate in the race.

“In a race like this where you have numerous candidates and not much is known about them, this becomes very important,” Cunningham said. “It validates her resume. Everybody has been saying she has the best credentials and experience, and now the New York Times is amplifying it. This will be noticed, it will help her fundraising and it puts her in a different category now.”

Garcia, 51, was the first choice of just 4% of likely voters in an April 18 poll conducted by Ipsos. Seven other candidates polled higher, while 26% said they were unsure. The mayoral election will be the first conducted via ranked choice, in which voters list their top five preferences.

“Humbled and honored,” Garcia said on Twitter. “Let’s go get it done.”

Garcia was de Blasio’s go-to crisis manager during her tenure with his administration, tackling the distribution of millions of meals during the pandemic, as well as a lead-poisoning crisis in public housing. Her long-shot campaign has the support of the sanitation workers union she dealt with managing the department. Garcia’s major plans include free child care for parents with children under 3 making less than $70,000 a year, universal Internet access and legalizing recreational marijuana.

The Times editorial described Garcia as a “confident, gravelly-voiced woman who ran an overwhelmingly male Sanitation Department.”

“She has a zeal for making government work better and was often known to show up ahead of a 6 a.m. shift for roll call not to micromanage but to find out how her people were doing,” the Times wrote.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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