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Opinion | Kathryn Garcia for N.Y.C. Mayor: The Times Endorsement

Scott Stringer, the city’s comptroller, has years of government experience and good ideas for improving New York City. But his candidacy has been clouded by the recent accusation by Jean Kim, a lobbyist who once worked for him, that he groped her and tried to pressure her to have sex with him in 2001. Mr. Stringer strongly denies her allegations. Voters will have to come to their own conclusions.

We have concerns about how Maya Wiley, a civil rights lawyer who served as a counsel to Mr. de Blasio, would do as a manager of the vast city bureaucracy. The former Citi executive Ray McGuire, though he has an impressive biography and is trusted by New York’s business community, seems detached from the pulse of the city. Shaun Donovan appears more like a Washington insider than a big city mayor. We worry that the former nonprofit executive Dianne Morales lacks the experience needed and has politics too far out of the mainstream to be a successful mayor.

The tech entrepreneur and former presidential candidate Andrew Yang has led in many early polls, promising to make the city fun again, with an attractive optimism. But nothing so far suggests that he has the experience to run New York City on Day 1. (Credit or criticism where it is due: We did say when he sought our endorsement for the Democratic nominee for president that we hoped he would get involved with New York politics.)

Mr. Yang offers the sharpest focus in the race on the important role the mayor will play in luring people back to the city as the pandemic ends; other candidates have focused on those who never left. Today’s New York, however, requires leadership that will prioritize both.

The city’s recovery and its longer-term future also depend on a mayor who will understand and work the levers of good government. So do its most vulnerable residents. Substance matters for the challenges that lie ahead, when federal aid money dries up, eviction moratoriums end and the final bills for the pandemic come due.

Kathryn Garcia can run a government that delivers for all New Yorkers. She would be the first woman to hold the office, but there are many other reasons to give her the job. Even the front-runner agrees: Mr. Yang has praised Ms. Garcia and repeatedly suggested he would hire her to run the city. “If Andrew Yang thinks I need to run his government, then maybe I should just run the government,” Ms. Garcia told us.

Agreed. Cut out the middleman and elect the most qualified person: Kathryn Garcia.

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