Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang filed paperwork last week with the Campaign Finance Board (CFB) to formally open a campaign committee. Yang insists the move wasn’t a sign he was officially joining the race, just a bureaucratic move should he decide to throw his hat in the ring.
But just the day before he met with Reverend Al Sharpton, a meeting most serious contenders for mayor request before declaring they are running, and most think it’s just a matter of time before Yang makes it official.
Former congressman Max Rose sat down with Sharpton in November, and then he filed his own paperwork with the CFB. Rose represented a district that covered Staten Island and south Brooklyn for one term before losing to Republican Nicole Malliotakis in 2020.
Mayor Bill de Blasio oddly became a factor in that race, with Malliotakis trying to align Rose with the mayor, who had become wildly unpopular in the district over his handling of the pandemic and summer protests.
Rose even released a very, very short video in which he simply stated “Mayor Bill de Blasio is the worst mayor in the history of New York City!” to try and distance himself from de Blasio. The video didn’t even mention his opponent.
And a former managing director at JP Morgan Chase with no political experience also announced recently that he was joining the race for mayor.
Art Chang is a Korean-American who lives in Prospect Heights.
“I don’t think I’m like any of them,” he said of his competitors in his first campaign video. “And I will put myself in a lane which is very, very different from any of them, because of what I’ve done and what I’ve been through in my life.”
But as it so often does in New York City politics, this race will likely come down to pizza. De Blasio was nearly ran out of office when he was caught on video in 2014 eating pizza with a knife and fork at Goodfellas on Staten Island. People blamed it on his Boston upbringing.
It’s not the first time a mayor has made that faux pas. In 2009, then-mayoral candidate William Thompson also blamed Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Beantown upbringing after he was caught on video doing the same thing.
In 2016, presidential candidate John Kasich was caught eating pizza with a fork in the Bronx. Goslings, the list goes on and on.
But Yang may have an even bigger problem on his hands than using a utensil.
While on the presidential trail, Yang declared his love for a Midwestern pizza chain called Pizza Ranch, a pizza buffet spot that has over 207 locations in 14 states.
The chain offers up a taco pizza and a mac-and-cheese pizza, innovative offerings to be sure, but no serious pizza lover would consider the chain’s pies to be anywhere near as good as a New York slice.
And Yang can’t plead ignorance. He grew up in Westchester, went to Columbia and lived in New York City for years, so he should know an inferior slice hanging out under a heat lamp and sneeze guard when he tastes it.
Yang may have sunk his campaign before it even began. Perhaps instead of meeting with Sharpton, he should have first met with the owners of Brooklyn’s Di Fara Pizza for some campaign advice on the real issues New Yorkers care about!