Ocasio-Cortez supports the progressive Maya Wiley as Mayor of New York City

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Maya Wiley, Democratic nominee for New York City Mayor, campaigns in Brooklyn, New York, United States, June 2, 2021. REUTERS / Brendan McDermid / File Photo

(Corrects the number of democratic mayoral candidates in the third paragraph)

(Reuters) – Democratic representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez approved Maya Wiley as Mayor of New York City on Saturday, increasing Wiley’s chances of establishing herself as the leading progressive in the crowded race.

At an event in front of Manhattan City Hall, progressive arsonist Ocasio-Cortez called on voters to “come together as a movement” to prevent the city from being run “for billionaires and special interests.”

More than a dozen Democratic candidates are competing to succeed Mayor Bill de Blasio at the helm of the most populous US city. The full race has so far been dominated by former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who was the main criticism of a televised debate earlier this week.

Wiley, a civil rights attorney and former MSNBC analyst, hopes her proposal to create jobs, focus on New Yorkers in need, and reorganize policing will resonate with voters in the June 22nd primaries.

Brooklyn District President Eric Adams, another leading contender and moderate Democrat, criticized Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement of Wiley.

“They put slogans and politics before public safety and would endanger the lives of New Yorkers,” Adams, a former police officer, said in a statement.

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