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Dianne Morales Looks for Space—and Support—on New York’s Left

Though her mayoral campaign is still polling in single digits, Morales would represent a profound break with the city’s past.

When Dianne Morales launched her campaign for mayor of New York City last November, she was trapped behind a computer screen. “We’ve had 109 mayors in New York. One was Black. None were women. None were Latino. None were indigenous. None were Asian,” she said then. “I know I’m not a traditional candidate. I’m not a traditional candidate because I’ve not spent a lifetime jockeying for the job.”

At the time, Covid-19 cases were ticking upward again in New York, which had lost more lives to the pandemic than any other city in America. Morales, 53, was entering the crowded Democratic primary with little money and only a bit more hope. Mostly unknown across the five boroughs, she would have the daunting task of introducing herself to hundreds of thousands of voters.

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