Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, one of the most prominent left-wing leaders in the country, urged voters to "come together as a movement."
"If we don’t come together as a movement, we will get a New York City built by and for billionaires, and we need a city by and for working people," Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said. "So we will vote for Maya No. 1."
Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement represents the most significant development yet in left-wing efforts to shape the June 22 Democratic primary that is almost certain to determine the city’s next mayor. Ms. Wiley, a civil rights lawyer and former counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio, appeared alongside Ms. Ocasio-Cortez outside City Hall in Manhattan.
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For months, it was unclear whether Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, 31, would use her platform to influence the mayor’s race. Her backing could cement Ms. Wiley as the liberal standard-bearer in the contest, and signal a new measure of viability around her campaign.
The endorsement may also provide a boost to the left-wing of the Democratic Party, which, despite significant recent victories at the congressional and state legislative levels, seemed to be at a disadvantage in the mayor’s race.
Many left-wing activists and leaders have been divided over how to approach the mayor’s race. Some backed Ms. Wiley; others supported Scott M. Stringer, the city comptroller, or Dianne Morales, a former nonprofit executive. But in recent weeks, Mr. Stringer and Ms. Morales have struggled with controversies, and some of their backers have rescinded their endorsements.