Early speculation over who might challenge Mayor Eric Adams in a 2025 primary has reached a crescendo in recent weeks as the mayor faces questions about an FBI probe into his campaign funding as the city is in the midst of the migrant crisis.
The mayor has spoken for months about a “coordinated effort” to kick him out of City Hall in 2025 — and there have already been attempts by the city’s top progressives to figure out who could do that.
But Adams has also brushed off that he would have a tough primary: When asked by THE CITY on Thursday what he thought about any potential challengers — and those rooting against him — he responded, “Wait before you hate,” twice.
Meanwhile, he’s lawyered up with the firm WilmerHale as more ties to Turkey, where the FBI is reportedly zoning in on possible illegal foreign campaign donations, are revealed. THE CITY reported Thursday that Adams met with the country’s President Recept Tayyip Erdogan as Brooklyn borough president and also took donations from three members of a foundation incorporated by Bilal Erdogan, his son.
Last week, federal investigators raided the Brooklyn home of his top campaign fundraiser, Brianna Suggs. Neither she nor Adams have officially been accused of any wrongdoing and no one has been charged with a crime or arrested.
Nevertheless, the political vultures are still circling. Here’s a look at who may challenge Adams in the 2025 election cycle.
Bear in mind: None of the below candidates (listed alphabetically) have yet filed campaign committees for the race, according to state Board of Elections records.
Councilmember Diana Ayala
WHO IS SHE? Deputy speaker of the City Council representing parts of The Bronx and Manhattan and chair of the general welfare committee.
WHAT IS SHE SAYING? Ayala told Politico while at the Somos conference that she was having preliminary conversations about potentially running. She’s been a frequent critic of Adams, particularly over his plans to weaken the city’s right to shelter law.
Ayala told THE CITY she was “Considering it. Why not?” when asked over text about running. “We have never had a woman or a Latino mayor and we obviously have to explore our options, considering the existing political structure,” she added.
State Senator Zellnor Myrie
WHO IS HE? State senator representing parts of Central Brooklyn and chair of the Senate elections committee.
WHAT IS HE SAYING? Myrie, who represents the same State Senate district in Crown Heights that Adams once served, has been one of the top contenders in speculation of who could run against Adams. In September, he told THE CITY’s FAQ podcast that “primaries are broadly healthy,” noting he defeated former State Senator Jesse Hamilton — who now serves in the Adams admin — in a primary.
And while he said at the time his focus was on being re-elected to the Senate this coming June, he wasn’t ruling anything out.
“I think there will be plenty of time for politics after the presidential election [next November],” he said.
“I do want to be part of the conversation and I do want to be part of the solutions to some of our most pressing problems.”
Myrie told THE CITY on Thursday that he’s been asked to run by people concerned about this town, but “the majority of New Yorkers I hear from are focused on affording their rent, paying for childcare, and keeping their families safe – so that’s what I’m focused on, too.”
WHO IS SHE? Former speaker of the City Council, now president and CEO of homeless-services provider WIN and former candidate for mayor in 2013.
WHAT IS SHE SAYING? Quinn has denied multiple times that she would run for mayor, saying on the FAQ podcast last month that she wouldn’t run against Adams. “I’ve said ‘I’m not running against Mayor Adams’ and that stands,” she insisted.
The wording leaves open the possibility of her throwing her hat in the ring if Adams does not run for re-election for whatever reason. She did not respond to a text message on Thursday seeking comment.
State Senator Jessica Ramos
WHO IS SHE? State senator representing parts of Queens, chair of the Senate’s labor committee.
WHAT IS SHE SAYING? Ramos has been listed in multiple stories as a potential candidate, and has publicly criticized the mayor for his policies and comments around asylum seekers.
She told POLITICO at Somos that the idea of who could run for mayor was a “sexy topic” but she was also focused on what was happening with federal funding for the asylum seekers. Still, she hasn’t ruled anything out.
“Somebody should, maybe it’ll be me,” she told THE CITY on Thursday
Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso
WHO IS HE? Current Brooklyn borough president and former City Council member representing Bushwick.
WHAT IS HE SAYING? When asked by THE CITY on Friday if he’s making any firm plans for a run, Reynoso said “absolutely not.”
“For me, my focus is on the borough presidency and doing the best I can to ensure that I improve the lives of Brooklynites. That’s my focus,” he said by phone from the Somos conference.
Reynoso similarly told the New York Times in August that he’s focused on his job as borough president.
But he also recognized that the city’s political left needed to find a strong candidate and build momentum around them: “The strategy is to start early and find one strong candidate this time,” he told the paper.