“Anyone who wants to sit and serve the people of the city of New York should be able to understand that there is simply no man who can tell a woman whether or not she has consented to a sexual relationship,” Ms. Wiley said. “That’s not how it works.”
For months, Mr. Yang, the former presidential candidate, has topped the sparse public polling, typically followed by Mr. Adams. But in a number of recent polls, Mr. Stringer had appeared to be virtually tied or just behind Mr. Adams. He had been buoyed in recent weeks by several major endorsements, including from the Working Families Party, the New York City chapter of the Sunrise Movement, a climate advocacy group, and the United Federation of Teachers.
Yet the allegation against Mr. Stringer — who, along with some of his top supporters, has preached a zero-tolerance message in other instances of allegations against public officials — threatens to reorder the entire mayoral contest, and especially the battle for the left.
Mr. Brisport, the state senator, had supported Mr. Stringer as his second choice in June’s ranked-choice primary, with Dianne Morales, a former nonprofit executive, as his top pick. That was exactly the strategy Mr. Stringer had been working toward to engage the city’s furthest-left voters, but Mr. Brisport’s withdrawal of support on Thursday was a troubling sign.
The developments have also given new fuel to Ms. Wiley, as well as to Kathryn Garcia, the former sanitation commissioner, and other candidates who like Mr. Stringer are campaigning on a mantle of competence and government experience.
“It does open up the race in Manhattan in way that I think was not the case a few weeks ago, and probably Park Slope a bit,” said Alicia Glen, a former deputy mayor and supporter of Ms. Garcia’s. “It has put those votes in play.”
Mr. Stringer on Thursday huddled on a private videoconference call with top supporters, including Representative Jerrold Nadler; representatives from major unions that have endorsed him, like the U.F.T.; and other supporters including State Senator Alessandra Biaggi and Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou, according to people familiar with the meeting.