Kathryn Garcia and Andrew Yang appeared together in Chinatown on Sunday ahead of a get-out-the-vote rally focused on attacks against people of Asian descent, the second display of unity between the two Democratic mayoral candidates in as many days.
Ms. Garcia, a former sanitation commissioner, and Mr. Yang, a former presidential candidate, met with a hug and a handshake at Kim Lau Square before walking together to the nearby rally.
Mr. Yang said at a news conference before their meeting that he had long admired Ms. Garcia and that his supporters should include her on their ranked-choice ballots. He said he expected to campaign with Ms. Garcia again before Tuesday’s primary.
“New Yorkers know we need to come together,” Mr. Yang said.
That two of the leading candidates would appear together days before the vote underscored how ranked-choice voting has complicated the mayor’s race. It also showed how rival candidates can ban together in a ranked-choice election to stem the momentum of a frontrunner — in this case, Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president.
“Andrew Yang No. 1 and Kathryn Garcia No. 2. That’s the way I want your ballots to look,” Mr. Yang said at the rally.
But the message has not been equal from both candidates. Ms. Garcia has stopped short of explicitly asking her supporters to rank Mr. Yang — a position she reiterated on Sunday before meeting him in Chinatown.
“I want his No. 2’s,” she told a voter before the rally, emphasizing she had not endorsed Mr. Yang. Later, during the rally, Ms. Garcia said voters should fill in all five choices offered on their ballots, and that people could have a “No. 1 and a No. 2.”
For his part, Mr. Yang was repeatedly pressed at the news conference about Ms. Garcia’s comments — and whether he had expected an explicit endorsement from her. But he did not answer the question.
“I’m thrilled to be campaigning with Kathryn yesterday and today,” he said.
For all Ms. Garcia’s ambivalence about Mr. Yang, Ms. Garcia seemed to appreciate the possibility that some of his support would rub off on her.
As the two candidates walked together for about two blocks, a crowd of his supporters marched around them. Periodically, they would start chanting Mr. Yang’s name emphatically. After the cheers died down, Ms. Garcia turned to him and said, wryly, “they really love you.”
Another leading candidate, Maya Wiley, also attended the rally separately.
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