Kathryn Garcia making name for self in New York City mayoral race

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The New York Times endorsement of Kathryn Garcia might just push her from unknown, to top tier in the race for New York City mayor.

Her new television ad stresses experience -- and lots of it.

Garcia was sanitation commissioner for the New York City Sanitation Department, making sure streets got plowed and the trash picked up.

During the coronavirus pandemic, she shifted to food czar, feeding thousands of hungry New Yorkers.

"New Yorkers have been judging my work every day that I've been on the job," the mayoral candidate said. "They walk out their door and they know whether I plowed their snow, and whether or not their garbage got collected."

When asked whether she might be seen as too closely tied to Mayor Bill de Blasio, she promptly critiqued where she thought he slipped up, with number one on the list being the pandemic.

"There definitely have been some challenges, in particular, with the vaccine rollout with the opening and closing of schools that I would have definitely done differently," Garcia said.

On Tuesday, Garcia focused on crime and vowed to reform police, saying she would dock the pay of officers who refuse orders like wearing a mask.

However, she's definitely not in favor of defunding police.

"So I do support the PD and want to make sure they are the most effective department, that we think of police as a service and police officers as our guardians and not as warriors," Garcia said.

Mayoral candidate Andrew Yang has said he is so impressed with Garcia that if he becomes mayor, he would hire her to work for him.

She responded to his comments by saying to just cut out the middleman and hire her as mayor.

ALSO READ | NYC's iconic Plaza Hotel reopening to guests after more than a year
EMBED More News Videos

The world famous Plaza Hotel is preparing to reopen its doors to guests for the first time in more than a year.

* More New York City news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
*Follow us on YouTube
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.