Corey Johnson testing mayoral campaign slogan during pandemic: insiders

CoJo may have found his campaign mojo — in the depths of a deadly pandemic.

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson is dry-running a 2021 mayoral campaign slogan — “We Are One New York” — in scores of TV appearances, social media posts and official messaging, Council insiders and political experts say.

“It’s obviously a campaign slogan,” longtime Democratic political consultant Hank Sheinkopf told The Post. “It’s a kind of New York nationalism and something that is required right now.”

A Council staffer said, “I have heard a lot of rumblings about it … It kind of became evident that they were probably testing it out as a slogan. I’ve had five or six conversations with people who work in the City Council about it.”

Johnson’s use of the phrase has exploded recently.

In at least seven different COVID-19 era cable-news appearances, Johnson has reminded viewers “We are one New York.” In many cases, he raises his index finger in a “one” gesture. On social media, Johnson has incorporated the hashtag #OneNewYork in dozens of posts across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook in recent weeks. Several videos of CoJo from the NYCCouncil YouTube page include “One New York” in the caption.

“We are one New York. We have to come together. We have to help each other. We have to get through this together,” he implored to MSNBC host Chris Hayes in late March in a clip that was typical of his other statements.

Johnson’s staff is also seeding the slogan across their social media feeds, including chief of staff Erik Bottcher, Community Liaison Howard Pollack, and special assistant Keith Edwards.

Since joining the City Council in 2014, the 38-year-old Johnson has had a meteoric rise, becoming the chamber’s top lawmaker in 2018. He’s made no effort to hide ambitions for the mayor’s office in 2021, raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations for the nascent effort.

He has also jabbed at Gracie Mansion’s current occupant Bill de Blasio, telling The Post Hizzoner moved too slowly on enacting shelter-in-place orders, and criticizing Blaz’s response to a blackout in July.

And while it could just be a pandemic slogan, the mayor’s race has been on Johnson’s mind since at least 2018, when he jokingly proposed to New York Magazine the possible catchphrase “Stop F–king With Us.”

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson
City Council Speaker Corey JohnsonMatthew McDermott

In the same piece, he took issue with de Blasio’s own “tale of two cities” electioneering theme. “It’s not really about focusing on one group of people. It’s about focusing on policies that would help everyone,” he said.

“The Speaker isn’t focused on politics at all right now,” a spokesman for Johnson told The Post.


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