Given the rancor of national politics, there’s been something reassuringly familiar about the tone of the campaign here, with candidates and canvassers politely trying to persuade voters in parks and at farmers markets.
Near the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday, a diverse group of Eric Adams supporters that included off-duty police officers and emergency medical workers were treated to a mariachi band. Jennifer Aguiluz said her E.M.T. union, Local 2507, backed Mr. Adams for mayor because he supports a plan to raise E.M.T.s’ pay, which has long lagged far behind firefighters’ in the same agency. “He understands blue-collar workers,” said Ms. Aguiluz, who is a member of the union’s executive board.
After the country was nearly lost to Trumpism, the questions about whether Mr. Adams, the front-runner in the mayoral primary, really lives in New York City at all are sort of quaint. (Mr. Adams says he lives in the basement of a home he owns in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn.)
Even Brad Lander’s dad jokes are soothing. “They call me Dad-Lander,” Mr. Lander, a city comptroller candidate, told a small crowd at Brooklyn’s Fort Greene Park on Saturday as people with Black Lives Matter signs looked on.
Less soothing was Andrew Yang’s rally on Sunday in the West Village, where a large group of enthusiastic supporters packed into a small space, many of them maskless, prompting this reporter to head for the exit.
Seriously, though, one-party elections hardly make New York the Shangri-La of democracy.
For one thing, voter turnout in local elections in New York City remains abysmal. In 2017, the year Mr. de Blasio cruised to re-election, just over 21 percent of registered voters filled out a ballot.
Democratic politics in the city is flooded with the same special interests and money that undermine trust in government everywhere. The most depressing example this year is the race for Manhattan district attorney. Alvin Bragg remains the best candidate. Unfortunately, his opponent, Tali Farhadian Weinstein — who is married to a hedge fund manager and has raised millions, including hundreds of thousands from financial firms in the city — just poured $8 million of her own money into her campaign.