NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. (CBS) – Andrew Yang, the tech entrepreneur who rose to national prominence as a 2020 Democratic candidate for president, has filed paperwork to run for mayor of New York City. The move sets him up to join a crowded Democratic race just six months before a primary will likely determine the next mayor.
A financial form for Yang’s potential campaign was filed with the city’s Campaign Finance Board on Wednesday. Yang also now appears as a mayoral contender on the finance board’s list of 2021 citywide candidates.
The paperwork does not guarantee that Yang is running, and he so far has no campaign contributions. A source close to Yang told CBS News that these steps are “just procedural” and no decision has been made, but added Yang is “seriously considering it and this was the necessary next step.”
A poll released this week by Education Reform Now Advocacy, a charter school advocacy group, showed Yang as the top candidate for New York’s next mayor, even though he hadn’t yet filed paperwork or announced a campaign. Yang led the poll with 17 percent support — 1 percent higher than Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president who’s seen as a leading candidate.
Yang has also been floated as a possible contender for U.S. Commerce Secretary in the incoming Biden administration, sources told CBS News — though one source said a mayoral run would likely conflict with that.
Nearly 40 people have filed paperwork for the mayor’s race, including several from the worlds of tech and finance. Yang has never held elected office and launched his first campaign when he ran for the Democratic presidential nomination.
In the White House race, Yang outperformed current New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who ended his four-month campaign after polling in single digits and then endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders. de Blasio will be term-limited out of office in 2021.
Yang’s run also overlapped with the late and brief presidential campaign of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who preceded de Blasio.
Yang gained traction for his Universal Basic Income platform of sending $1,000 a month to all Americans over the age of 18. But his presidential bid ultimately failed to win many voters. Yang dropped out after the New Hampshire primary in February 2020 and later endorsed Joe Biden.
Just weeks after ending his White House run, Yang started publicly mulling a bid for mayor of New York; he lives in Manhattan, though he recently temporarily moved to Georgia to campaign for the two Democratic candidates in the state’s January 5 Senate runoffs.
The mayoral primary will be held in June 2021, and the winner is likely to prevail in the November general election, since New York City is a Democratic stronghold.