Several of New York’s leading left-wing lawmakers and the New York chapter of the Working Families Party pulled their support for Scott M. Stringer’s mayoral campaign on Friday following an allegation of sexual misconduct.
The withdrawal of the endorsements dealt seismic blows to Mr. Stringer, and significantly complicated his path forward in the mayor’s race in New York City.
Representative Jamaal Bowman, a New York Democrat; State Senators Alessandra Biaggi, Julia Salazar and Gustavo Rivera and Assemblywomen Yuh-Line Niou and Catalina Cruz — many of whom had been at Mr. Stringer’s campaign announcement and had served as prominent surrogates for his mayoral bid — issued a joint statement.
“We are rescinding our endorsement of Scott Stringer’s mayoral campaign,” it said simply.
Minutes after the Working Families Party announced its decision, Sunrise NYC, the New York chapter of the Sunrise Movement, a youth-driven organization focused on climate, also rescinded its endorsement of Mr. Stringer.
Mr. Stringer, the city comptroller, has sought to be the left-wing standard-bearer in the contest and had gained momentum in recent weeks, in part because of the backing of the Working Families Party, which his allies had seen as a turning point in the race. But the sexual misconduct accusation from a former campaign worker, which came to light this week, has sparked an outcry, placing mounting political pressure on the candidate.
The woman, Jean Kim, now a political lobbyist, accused Mr. Stringer of sexually assaulting her when she worked on his 2001 race for public advocate. She said that Mr. Stringer, who was then a state assemblyman, had groped her, made other unwanted sexual overtures and told her to keep those actions quiet. Mr. Stringer has strenuously denied those claims, saying that they had a consensual relationship that stretched over a few months.
But he has faced increasing pressure this week, losing the endorsement of several prominent lawmakers who had supported his campaign. A person familiar with the Working Families Party’s decision said its members felt Mr. Stringer was dismissive toward Ms. Kim and her account.
“We approached this moment with the deliberate reflection, discussion, and input from members and leaders across the party that it required,” Sochie Nnaemeka, the party’s state director, said in a statement. “Jean Kim shared her experience of sexual assault and Scott Stringer failed to acknowledge and consider his responsibility for that harm.”
Mr. Stringer, who has stressed a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment and has said he believes women deserve to be heard, issued a pre-emptive statement earlier Friday afternoon.
“I understand that this is a difficult moment for my supporters, and I know that some of them will feel compelled to withdraw their endorsement of my candidacy,” he said. “This campaign was always going to be about the people. I’ve received a lot of support on campaign stops over the last two days, and I’m going to be campaigning in every neighborhood, in every borough for the next two months.”
Understand the N.Y.C. Mayoral Race
- Who’s Running for Mayor? There are more than a dozen people still in the race to become New York City’s next mayor, and the primary will be held on June 22. Here’s a rundown of the candidates.
- What is Ranked-Choice Voting? New York City began using ranked-choice voting for primary elections this year, and voters will be able to list up to five candidates in order of preference. Confused? We can help.
The Working Families Party had endorsed Dianne Morales, a former nonprofit executive, as its second choice, and Maya D. Wiley, a former counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio, as its third choice ahead of the city’s ranked-choice mayoral election on June 22.
“We are enthusiastically reiterating support for our other endorsed candidates, Dianne Morales and Maya Wiley,” the statement said. “The New York Working Families Party will be forging forward in the critical weeks ahead to ensure one of these fearless, bold women is the next Mayor of New York.”
Whether Ms. Morales would now be treated as the first choice of the organization was not clear Friday afternoon.
The New York chapter of Sunrise had previously co-endorsed Mr. Stringer and Ms. Morales.
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