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Good government group ranks Scott Stringer third in race for Mayor, and Corey Johnson second, Brad Lander third in the race for Comptroller

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New York, N.Y. (June 11, 2021)— Today, Citizens Union announced its candidate preferences in the races for Mayor and Comptroller under New York City’s new ranked choice voting system.  After rigorously evaluating 7 candidates for Mayor and 9 candidates for Comptroller, Citizens Union prefers Kathryn Garcia and Eric Adams for Mayor and Brian Benjamin and Corey Johnson for Comptroller.

To encourage voters to use ranked choice voting in the upcoming primary election, Citizens Union issued ranked choices in both races. In the race for Mayor, it was a close vote between two candidates, with Citizens Union’s board issuing a preference for Kathryn Garcia and Eric Adams, in that order. In the race for Comptroller, it was again a close vote between two candidates, with Citizens Union’s Board issuing a preference for Brian Benjamin and Corey Johnson, in that order. The board also decided to express third place preferences for Scott Stringer in the Mayor’s race and Brad Lander in the Comptroller’s race.

About the Mayor’s race, Randy Mastro, Citizen Union’s Board Chair, said: “This is our most consequential Mayoral election in decades and our first under ranked choice voting. As a result, we are expressing our preference for multiple candidates in the crowded Democratic primary field, but two, in particular, rose above the rest. We prefer Kathryn Garcia for her proven track record of successfully managing City agencies through crises. We prefer Eric Adams for his inspiring leadership and impressive agenda emphasizing public safety and economic recovery.” Mastro added, “Garcia and Adams received, by far, the most support among our Board members, but in a close vote, Garcia outpolled Adams in our ranked choice vote. So from this strong field, we are pleased to be able to recommend these candidates to New York City’s Democratic primary voters.”

Mastro added that Citizens Union decided to express a third place preference in the Democratic primary for Scott Stringer for his decades of public service and pertinent experience as New York City Comptroller. Mastro further noted that Citizens Union was unable to express a preference in the Republican primary because the candidates there did not submit themselves to Citizens Union’s rigorous evaluation process.

About the Comptroller’s race, Betsy Gotbaum, Citizens Union’s Executive Director, said: “As we recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic, the role of the Comptroller takes on added importance. Our two top preferences are Brian Benjamin and Corey Johnson, in that order.” Gotbaum added: “Benjamin’s track record, both in the private sector and as a State Senator, will allow him to effectively serve as the City’s chief fiscal officer. And Corey Johnson’s service as Speaker of the City Council provided him experience in managing the budget process that has also prepared him for this important position.” 

Gotbaum added that Citizens Union’s Board decided to express a third place preference for Brad Lander for offering a unique perspective on what the Comptroller can do for the City.

Candidates were evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • alignment with Citizens Union’s reform agenda, specifically views on ethics, election reform and police accountability;

  • ability to advance their agenda once in office;

  • knowledge of the needs of their constituents; and

  • ability to wage an effective and competitive campaign.

Citizens Union issued preferences for Brooklyn Borough President, Manhattan Borough President, Manhattan District Attorney and in eight City Council races earlier this week. Please see those preferences below:

Brooklyn Borough President

  1. Jo Anne Simon

  2. Antonio Reynoso

  3. Khari Edwards

Manhattan Borough President

  1. Brad Hoylman

  2. Mark Levine

Manhattan District Attorney

  • Dual preference of Alvin Bragg and Tali Farhadian Weinstein

City Council District 3 (Manhattan- Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Greenwich Village, West SoHo, Hudson Square, Times Square, Garment District, Flatiron, Upper West Side)

  1. Erik Bottcher

City Council District 5 (Manhattan- Upper East Side’s Yorkville, Lenox Hill, Carnegie Hill, Roosevelt Island, Midtown East, Sutton Place, El Barrio in East Harlem)

  1. Julie Menin

City Council District 6 (Manhattan- Central Park, Lincoln Square, Upper West Side, Clinton)

  1. Gale Brewer

  2. Jeffrey Omura

City Council District 7 (Manhattan- Manhattan Valley, Manhattanville, Morningside Heights, Hamilton Heights)

  1. Shaun Abreu

City Council District 26 (Queens- Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside, Astoria, Dutch Kills)

  1. Julie Won

  2. Amit Bagga

  3. Brent O’Leary

City Council District 33 (Brooklyn- Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Downtown Brooklyn, Dumbo, Fulton Ferry, Greenpoint, Vinegar Hill, Williamsburg)

  1. Lincoln Restler

City Council District 35 (Brooklyn-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, parts of Bedford-Stuyvesant)

  1. Crystal Hudson

City Council District 39 (Brooklyn- Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Columbia Waterfront, Gowanus, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Borough Park, Kensington)

  1. Brandon West

For follow up, please contact Jake Oliver at Anat Gerstein, Inc. at
[email protected] or 347-361-9983

About Citizens Union
For 120 years, Citizens Union has been a force for transparency, accountability and ethics in New York’s City and State governments. A nonpartisan organization, some of our current initiatives include the election info hub, a new agenda for police accountability, and increasing civic engagement. Learn more at

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