Out gay Brooklyn Councilmember Carlos Menchaca has pulled the plug on his longshot candidacy for mayor.
The term-limited lawmaker, who represents Red Hook, Sunset Park, Greenwood Heights and parts of Windsor Terrace, Dyker Heights, and Boro Park, acknowledged in an announcement on March 24 that his “path to a primary victory is no longer attainable.”
“I decided to run for mayor because I believed I could help bring a voice to neglected communities across this city and bring the systemic change needed to create a more equitable, affordable, and just New York,” Menchaca said in a written statement.
The 40-year-old councilmember ran on a progressive platform — and he highlighted his campaign in a recent interview with Gay City News — but he was unable to make headway in the five months since he first announced his candidacy, leaving him little room to emerge as a serious contender. He entered the race weeks after out gay Speaker Corey Johnson terminated his own campaign for mayor.
“As the youngest elected official in this race, I sought to bring new ideas and energy to this campaign and defy the status quo,” Menchaca said. “I am grateful to the people who believed in me and my vision. Thank you for the time you volunteered and the contributions you made. Together we put forward progressive ideas on universal basic income, housing, and police accountability. We should be proud of the ideas we fought for.”
Menchaca’s withdrawal from the race follows the recent departure of another out LGBTQ candidate, former New York City Department of Veterans’ Services commissioner Loree Sutton.
“While I would have been the first openly gay Latino mayor of New York City, it is my hope that those that look like me or love like me can see a place for themselves in our city government and know one day, one of us will serve as mayor of this great city,” Menchaca said.
Menchaca, who was among the lawmakers who opposed the city’s budget last year in large part because of concerns that it did not adequately reduce funding of the NYPD, has less than a year remaining in his term as a councilmember. In his announcement, he hinted at his plans to again fight for a progressive budget this year.
“My work now continues in the City Council, where I will be fighting for a fair city budget that will rebuild our communities hit hardest by COVID and help to shape a brighter future for the city I love,” he said.
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