There are 635 days until the 2021 mayoral general election, but more than a million dollars has already been spent by the likely candidates, and major machinations are already underway.
Last month, one of the “big four” contenders, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., dropped out of the race, leaving Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Comptroller Scott Stringer in the top tier. This week, another big name—that of former HUD secretary and city housing commissioner Shaun Donovan—was added to the mix.
In an era when the New York Times endorses not one but two women for president, some have wondered whether a female name would join the list of possible successors to Bill de Blasio.
After all, though no woman has ever won the mayoralty, women have often run serious races for City Hall, like Carol Bellamy in 1985, Ruth Messinger (the Democratic nominee) in 1997, C. Virginia Fields in 2005 and Christine Quinn in 2013. In the era of #MeToo, it seems an odd season for a boys-only cast.
Nonprofit executive Dianne Morales, former veterans affairs commission Loree Sutton and contracting executive Jocelyn Taylor are all hoping to make the main stage.
Morales and Sutton joined WBAI’s Max & Murphy Show on Wednesday to offer a glimpse of their vision for the city.
Mayoral Candidate Dianne Morales
Morales, a Brooklyn native who until recently led the Bronx anti-poverty organization Phipps Neighborhood, said that women’s issues would be a focus for her—because they are a thread that connects so many of the other challenges the city faces.
“I think that there’s something really important about highlighting and lifting up women in the city. I think that women who do better, their families do better and their communities do better,” she said.
“And so a real sort of focus and priority would be the economic well-being, the safety, the access to childcare—those kinds of issues that help women actually be able to live full, successful, productive lives,” she continued. “I’m definitely going to be looking at those issues and highlighting those issues and leading with those issues because I think there’s no topic you can talk about that you can’t actually map back to women.”
Sutton, a retired brigadier general in the army who then served as the city’s first commissioner of veteran’s services, said she was running because of her concern about the direction the city is headed.
Mayoral Candidate Loree Sutton
“As I saw things continue to deteriorate in our city—the quality of life and all that we see around us everyday, I kept looking for: who is the common sense candidate, the passionate pragmatist, the person who is going to to be able to draw energy and ideas and insights from all over the political spectrum and then forge common sense solutions going forward,” she said.
“And I didn’t see it. I saw the politics of fear. I saw career politicians who were rushing for the far left. I saw industry like real-estate being demonized. And we are so much better than this.”
You can hear the full show below: