The former tech executive ran for president in 2020

By Virginia Chamlee
December 24, 2020 01:41 PM
Andrew Yang
| Credit: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former Democratic presidential contender Andrew Yang has thrown his hat into the ring for New York mayor, filing paperwork to officially join the 2021 race.

The news comes after speculation that the former tech executive would enter the race. The New York Times reported that, in recent months, he's reached out to a host of prominent political strategists and kingmakers, enlisting advisers that previously worked for former mayor Michael Bloomberg.

In a recent interview with Politico, Yang suggested he was mulling the possibility of entering the race, but suggested he had not yet made up his mind.

“It's incredibly flattering that people are interested in my running. I love New York dearly; it's played an enormous role in my life and my wife's life and our kids go to school there,” Yang told the outlet. “So I'm just looking for how I can do the most good and I believe I'll have a decision staked out in the next number of weeks.” 

During his bid for president, the former tech executive was best-known for his support of a government-run Universal Basic Income program, which he said would give $1,000 a month to every adult American, and be funded by a value-added tax on companies.

Though he garnered a loyal following, the popularity didn't translate to votes, with Yang ultimately dropping out of the presidential race in February and endorsing President-elect Joe Biden.

Though it's unclear how his mayoral platform might resemble that of his presidential campaign, Politico cites sources who say he will propose a "modified version" of the Universal Basic Income concept.

Yang has recently been in Georgia canvassing for Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff ahead of next month's Senate runoffs.  

The name recognition gleaned from his presidential race will likely be a big boon to Yang, who has no experience in office and previously presided over a number of tech ventures, including a school test-prep company he later sold and startup incubator Venture for America.

Yang will be the second Asian-American candidate to run for mayor of New York, reports the Times. State Sen. John Liu ran for New York City mayor in 2013.

In launching a campaign, Yang will join a crowded field of those looking to succeed Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has been criticized for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.