Corey Johnson Officially Enters Comptroller Race

Council Speaker Corey Johnson kicks off his campaign for comptroller.
Dean Moses

With little more than three months to go before the June 22 primary, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson officially threw his hat into the city comptroller’s race — and a serious wrench into the overall campaign.

On March 9, Johnson made his official announcement on the southwest corner of Madison Square Park, months after he pulled out of the mayoral election. His entrance into the comptroller race has been anticipated for weeks.

Johnson says he has but “one mission” for the office, if elected: “to better the lives of New Yorkers.”

“I promise to be your voice when you are knocked down and can’t speak. To be the champion for the most vulnerable because I’ve been there. I’ve lived it,” he added.

Johnson’s pitch for comptroller heavily involved his track record of accomplishments and work as Speaker for City Council, emphasizing that he has led the City Council through budget and oversight work. He says that he will be the watchdog of city agencies.

“I will be a strong and independent comptroller who uses all of the powers of the office to kick start New York’s recovery. I’m going to make sure that every single dollar that we get for COVID relief is targeted directly to our recovery and to New Yorkers who need it the most,” Johnson said.

Despite his late entry into the comptroller campaign, Johnson had already secured the support of numerous colleagues in government who were on hand for his announcement.

“Now that we are leaving the City Council at the end of this year, and in the next few months, the voters of the City of New York will have an opportunity to vote for a new administration,” Bronx Councilmember Vanessa Gibson said. “A new mayor, a new public advocate running for reelection, and equally as important a comptroller for the City of New York. It is my honor and privilege to fully and firmly endorse my good friend, Corey Johnson to become the next comptroller of the City of New York.”

Johnson’s supporters listed his previous work on reducing overcrowding in the public school system, investing in infrastructure, building and providing sustainable housing, and more.

“Corey Johnson embodies the spirit of New York. There is no one who works harder for the people of this city,” Brooklyn Councilmember Mark Treyger said, explaining that prior to the pandemic Johnson was always looking out for the best interest of New Yorkers. “Doing the most good for those who need the most help,” Treyger said.

Additional supporters included Councilmember Helen Rosenthal for District 6 and HTC’s President Rich Maroko.

Comptroller Scott Stringer has held the seat since 2014, but is now seeking to become the next mayor of New York. The city comptroller oversees city agencies, monitoring their spending and performance. ‘

Johnson joins a crowded field of candidates for city comptroller, which include Manhattan state Senator Brian Benjamin, former journalist Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, Brooklyn City Councilmember Brad Lander, Brooklyn state Senator Kevin Parker and Queens Assemblymember David Weprin.

Currently, Johnson represents New York City Council District 3, which consists of Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Flatiron, West SoHo, Hudson Square, the Meatpacking District, Columbus Circle, Times Square, the Theater District, the Garment District and part of the Upper West Side.

He was elected City Council speaker following the 2017 election, succeeding former Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

This story first appeared in Gay City News’ sister publication,  To sign up for the Gay City News email newsletter, visit