Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang has privately told New York City leaders that he plans to run for mayor next year, The New York Times reports.
Yang is expected to formally announce his bid next month but he has reached out to the “city’s political power brokers” to give them a heads up.
The Democratic mayoral primary will take place in June.
Yang has spoken with City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who recently announced he would not run for mayor, and plans to visit with Rev. Al Sharpton next week.
Yang has recruited Bradley Tusk and Chris Coffey, two former advisers to ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to help with his bid.
Yang stock rises:
Yang gained national prominence when he ran for president on a platform of universal basic income, which would provide $1,000 to every American each month.
He has continued to be involved in national politics, recently relocating to Georgia to campaign for Democrats in the state’s Senate runoffs.
“I’m thrilled that people seem excited about my doing what I can to help, but no, right now I’m focused on these Senate races in Georgia,” he told the Times.
Yang would become the second Asian-American to run for mayor after an unsuccessful bid by state senator John Liu in 2013.
Arthur Chang, a JP Morgan executive who is also Asian, is planning to run as well.
Yang leads early poll:
Yang led a wide field in a recent poll, receiving support from 20% of respondents.
That puts him ahead of Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams, who had 14%, and City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who is at 11%.
“It’s always encouraging when people are excited about you,” Yang said.
Yang would also likely face Maya Wiley, a former aide to Mayor Bill de Blasio, and outgoing moderate Rep. Max Rose, among others.