Andrew Yang notches NYC mayoral endorsement by progressive Dem., Councilman Carlos Menchaca

Andrew Yang, facing skepticism from progressive Democrats in his bid for mayor, took a step toward shoring up his left flank on Wednesday, collecting an endorsement in Brooklyn from Carlos Menchaca, a city councilman and former mayoral hopeful.

Menchaca, who represents Red Hook and Sunset Park, said he hopes to pull Yang to the left. But he also said that he and Yang share values and that they bonded after meeting at the first mayoral forum in October.

“I connected to Andrew’s story,” said Menchaca, joined by his rescue dog, Lola, at a news conference on a Red Hook street corner. “A story of an immigrant family. Someone that wants to wake up every single day and fight — fight for people.”

The two politicians, both sons of immigrants, differ in their stances on police reform: Menchaca has supported defunding the NYPD and Yang has not. Still, Menchaca praised Yang’s “bold, creative, positive ideas” and said he was impressed by the way locals respond to the onetime presidential candidate on the streets of Brooklyn.

Menchaca, who is openly gay and Mexican-American, dropped his doomed bid for mayor last month after struggling to generate fundraising. He said Yang rang him after he left the race, describing the call as a “perfect moment.”

Menchaca serves as chair of the City Council’s Committee on Immigration, but he is perhaps best known for sinking a deal to rezone Industry City on the Gowanus Bay waterfront. He said the plan had insufficient community input.

“I was a fan of Carlos from the first time we met,” said Yang, who has topped polls in the crowded Democratic primary. “He’s part of this next generation of leadership that I believe New York City needs right now.”

New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang

Yang also rolled out a proposal on Wednesday to assist immigrants sending money home to their families. Red Hook is home to a large immigrant community.

“Walking Red Hook with Carlos actually led me to reflect a little bit on my own immigrant experience, where my father grew up on a farm in Asia with no floor,” Yang told reporters. “Carlos and I were aligned on the fact that we have to do more for immigrant communities.”

And he noted that the two have tossed around ideas to improve transportation in Red Hook, a waterfront neighborhood separated from brownstone Brooklyn by the rumbling Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. The area’s lack of subway service has rendered it a notorious transit desert.

Earlier this week, Yang pulled in an endorsement from Assemblyman Kenny Burgos (D-Bronx), and he previously scored support from Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Queens) and U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.).

Candidates are working to bolster their collections of endorsements as the race heats up ahead of Primary Day on June 22, and city comptroller Scott Stringer received the coveted endorsement of the United Federation of Teachers on Monday.

Yang was not considered a likely contender for that endorsement after he criticized the UFT over a fumbled start to the school year. But the support from Menchaca could offer him a boost in left-wing circles.

On Wednesday, the mayoral frontrunner dismissed the notion that Menchaca’s endorsement — given the councilman’s politics — represented a surprise.

“Carlos and I know that New Yorkers want us to come together,” Yang said. “We’re still in the midst of trying to climb out of a deep, dark hole. We do not need people trying to segment us into artificial lanes.”

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Source (Ny Daily news)

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