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Yang's time outside NYC during pandemic creates problems for anticipated mayoral bid

Yang, if he officially declares his candidacy, would be the most high-profile candidate in the NYC mayoral race.

Updated: January 12, 2021 - 8:05am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang's anticipated bid to become New York City mayor has run into problems, largely over his decision to live upstate during much of the pandemic.

Yang, whose presidential bid centered on a universal basic income for every American, has solid name recognition and experience on a big political stage.

But in the past several months, critics have knocked him for what they say was more time spent campaign in Georgia for the Senate runoffs than in the city and for his frequent TV appearances from a weekend home in Hudson Valley.

In a New York Times story Monday, Yang defended the decision for him and his family to leave their Hell’s Kitchen apartment during the pandemic, which hit New York City hard during the early months. 

"Can you imagine trying to have two kids on virtual school in a two-bedroom apartment, and then trying to do work yourself?" said Yang, who last month filed paperwork to join the mayoral race.  

Among those to criticize Yang’s explanation, as likely expected, were other hopefuls in the race.

"Yes, actually I can," tweeted Scott M. Stringer, the city comptroller and a mayoral contender who also has two young children.

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