3 Democrats vying to be New York's first female mayor

New York City has had 109 mayors, not one of them has been a woman. But three current Democratic candidates are willing to bet this year could be different.

"I think it's overdue right?," said Dianne Morales, a Bedford-Stuyvesant native, former public school teacher, and nonprofit executive.

"We've waited 400 years to break this particular glass ceiling," said Kathryn Garcia, of Park Slope, who is Mayor Bill de Blasio's former sanitation commissioner and interim NYCHA chair.

Maya Wiley, an attorney and civil rights activist who served as counsel to de Blasio and chair of the Civilian Complaint Review Board, said the time is now.

"It's time we start recognizing that women are deeply qualified to run this city," Wiley said.

All three candidates are moms. All three think they have what it takes to shake up the city government.

"I am a first-generation college graduate, I'm a woman of color, I've been a single mother for the last 20 years, both my kids graduated from New York City public schools," said Morales, who claims to be running the grassroots campaign.

"I really understand some of the barriers and obstacles and challenges that New Yorkers face," she added.

Wiley said she is the one to steer the city through turbulent times.

"As a New Yorker, as a mom who's navigated the public school system, who has lived here for over three decades, a big part of this is realizing how much we have suffered both from the affordability crisis that came before COVID, and the racial justice crisis," she said.

Garcia is running on a promise to treat New Yorkers like customers.

"I have a real vision about how to make this a more liveable city but also the skillset to actually achieve it," Garcia said. "It's one thing to have big ideas, it's another to get it done."

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Right now in polling, the three candidates all trail frontrunner and former presidential hopeful Andrew Yang and second-in-place Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. But they believe that in this crowded field of at least 10 Democratic hopefuls, they can, and will, gain ground.

"This race is wide open," Garcia said.

June's primary will be the first citywide election in which New Yorkers vote through a new ranked-choice system, which allows them to rank their top-five candidates 1 through 5. That method is giving hope to candidates who are trailing, with the thought being that if they secure enough second-place votes, they could claim victory if it becomes a close contest.