The city’s teachers’ union is going all out to prevent leading New York mayoral candidates Eric Adams and Andrew Yang from being elected.
In an eye-brow-raising move, the United Federation of Teachers explicitly told its members not to rank Yang or Adams anywhere on their ballots, in a new guide to the Big Apple’s first citywide election using ranked-choice voting.
“DO select Scott Stringer as your first choice for mayor. DON’T select Eric Adams or Andrew Yang as a choice for mayor,” reads the UFT voter guide — which illustrates a green check mark above the Stringer assessment and red X on the Yang and Adams ones. It was recently blasted out to its 80,000 members.
“Any appearance on your ballot, even as your 5th choice, can get them elected.”
While the UFT in April endorsed city Comptroller Stringer in the fast-approaching Democratic mayoral primary, the instructions sent to its members appear to indicate the union is going all-in on the embattled longtime politician. He has lost several endorsements and slipped in the polls after a former campaign volunteer accused Stringer of sexual assault and harassment — allegations he denies.
“It’s war,” said the political consultant who requested anonymity. “This is a high-risk, reckless decision at this stage of the campaign.”
“It’s one thing to support your candidate. It’s quite another to single out candidates not to actively support.”
The UFT voter guide for the June 22 election — early voting starts June 12 — the first election in which voters can rank up to five candidates on their ballots, says Stringer is “a longtime champion of public education,” while noting the union endorsed the 61-year-old Democratic comptroller.
“You can select up to 5 candidates in order of preference, from your first choice to your 5th choice,” the guide explains.
In the lead up to its mayoral endorsement on April 19, the UFT included Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, and Yang, a 46-year-old former test prep company executive and 2020 presidential candidate, in its finalists. But the union has decided to launch an onslaught against the two more centrist candidates to bolster the left-leaning, anti-charter school Stringer.
A rep for Yang, who has repeatedly been at odds with the city’s powerful teachers’ union over the pace of reopening, said he was unconcerned by the union’s decision.
“It’s no surprise that the the UFT is anxious about public school parent Andrew Yang,” said Yang campaign spokesman Chris Coffey.
“He’s been the most outspoken leader on making sure schools are safely open and unlike others in the race, he’s not beholden to union leadership.”
A spokesperson for Adams, who has been a staunch supporter of charter schools, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.