Who’s who in the 2017 New York City mayoral race
Real estate executive Paul Massey’s exit from the New York City mayor’s race positioned Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis as the leading rival to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. But technically speaking, it’s not just a two-person race. In fact, more than 25 contenders are campaigning to replace de Blasio. Here’s a rundown of all 28 candidates currently in the race.
Bill de Blasio – The Democratic incumbent is widely expected to coast to re-election. Despite mixed reviews during his first term, his job approval rating recently reached 60 percent and he has collected a number of key endorsements and raised millions in campaign funds. He now has $2.55 million in cash on hand, far more than any other candidate. Anyone looking to knock him off is facing an uphill battle.
Nicole Malliotakis – The assemblywoman from Staten Island has capitalized on Massey’s departure, accumulating endorsements from fellow Republican officials well as the Conservative Party. The front-runner in the Republican primary for mayor has only $275,000 on hand, although Malliotakis has been keeping pace with de Blasio recently when expected matching funds are included.
Richard “Bo” Dietl – Bo Dietl is a former New York City detective and media personality who has drawn comparisons to President Donald Trump. He originally intended to run as a Democrat, but was unable to do so due to a paperwork mishap. After giving up on winning the Republican Party’s backing to run on its line instead, he is running as an independent. He has raised close to $1 million and has $367,116 on hand.
Sal Albanese – Sal Albanese is a former New York City councilman who has run for mayor before, most recently in 2013, when he garnered fewer than 6,000 votes in the Democratic primary. Albanese, who supports term limits and campaign finance reform, is de Blasio’s leading Democratic opponent. But he has raised just $124,000 and has around $72,000 on hand.
Richard Bashner – Richard Bashner is a commercial lawyer and a member of Brooklyn’s Community Board 6. He promises to make government more transparent, extend MTA service, and support the movement for a constitutional convention. He has raised close to $100,000.
Robert Gangi – Gangi is the founder of Police Reform Organizing Project, and his campaign is focused largely on police reform as well as racial and economic equality. He previously served as the executive director of the Correctional Association of New York for nearly three decades.
Neil Grimaldi – Neil Grimaldi is a lawyer who has ran for a number of offices, including for president last year and for mayor in 2013, when he garnered 4,677 votes in the Democratic primary. He has not reported raising any funds this election cycle.
Collin Slattery – Slattery is a 28-year-old web entrepreneur. He says he is running to help make city housing and transit more affordable. He plans on energizing other millennials in hopes of toppling de Blasio for the Democratic nomination. He has raised less than $2,000.
Michael Tolkin – Tolkin is a tech entrepreneur who has emphasized the adaptability of the New York economy in the face of continuing automation and using technology to improve government. Tolkin made a $5 million in-kind contribution to his campaign and loaned himself another $225,000, which makes up the bulk of his campaign contributions.
Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente – Rocky De La Fuente is a millionaire from California who ran unsuccessfully for president as a Democrat in 2016. Now his hat is in the ring for the GOP mayoral nomination in New York City. There has been some debate as to whether his lack of residency will be an issue or not. He has raised $628,000 and has $213,000 on hand.
Darren Dione Aquino – Darren Dione Aquino is a longtime advocate of disabled. He has called for improved police-community relations.
Walter N. Iwachiw – A native New Yorker, Walter Iwachiw unsuccessfully ran for president in 2016 and New York City mayor in 2013. He has not reported any fundraising.
Akeem Browder – The older brother of Kalief Browder, who killed himself after serving time at Rikers Island for a crime he didn’t commit, Akeem Browder has been tapped as the Green Party’s nominee. Browder’s primary goal is the rapid shutdown of Rikers Island. However, he has had run-ins with the law that could hurt his already long-shot chances.
Aaron Commey – Aaron Commey has been selected by the Libertarian Party as its candidate for mayor. As a libertarian, Commey is interested in reworking the penal code to repeal drug and prostitution laws.
Osborne G. Hart – The socialist activist is one of several candidates running a “small campaign,” which means raising and spending less than $1,000. In the past, he has run for office on the Socialist Workers Party line.
Abbey Laurel-Smith – Known colloquially as “Smithie,” Abbey Laurel-Smith is looking to run on the Working Families Party line. Smith, who also ran for president last year and calls himself a “radical Republican,” has pledged to reform the NYPD and affordable housing.
Ahsan Syed – Syed is campaigning to be New York City’s first Muslim mayor. His self-proclaimed “Theocratic Party” prioritizes immigrant issues and religious freedom.
Eric W. Armstead – A native of East New York, Eric Armstead believes de Blasio is not doing enough in regard to security. He would push for better equipment for the police and tolls on all bridges into New York City.
James S. Berry – James Berry has raised $646 but there is little public information about him.
Garrett Bowser – Garrett Bowser is a native New Yorker running as an independent. He would be the first openly gay mayor. Among his goals are universal health care and legalizing marijuana.
Robb Gosine – Robb Gosine is an engineer, research scientist and U.S. Navy officer who is running as an independent. He is one of several candidates running a “small campaign,” which means raising and spending less than $1,000.
Rosemarie Hameed – Rosemarie Hameed is one of several candidates running a “small campaign.”
Scott Joyner – Brooklyn native Scott Joyner is running as an independent. His priorities include revitalizing the MTA and legalizing marijuana.
Salvador Morales – Salvador Morales is a “young politician running for mayor,” according to his Facebook page.
Louis Puliafito – Louis Puliafito has pledged to be a mayor who “serves ALL through ‘LOVE’ not money.”
Eric Roman – Eric Roman is a Staten Islander running as an independent. The Department of Correction veteran wants to strengthen the relationship between the police and the mayor.
Eliseo M. Santos – Eliseo Santos, who grew up in the Bronx and went to Columbia University, is running as an independent and emphasizing the need for better schools and lower unemployment.
Karmen Smith – Originally from Texas, the South Bronx resident is running for mayor as an independent. His campaign focuses on LGBTQ and racial issues.