A marquee race in next month’s City Council primaries is heating up after the incumbent dropped out.

The remaining three contenders are very familiar faces in Harlem, greeted by name as they campaigned this week.

State Assemblywoman Inez Dickens, State Assemblyman Al Taylor and Central Park Exonerated Five member Yusef Salaam are competing to represent the rapidly gentrifying Council District 9 in Central Harlem, a cultural touchstone for Black America.

Longtime residents there want and need more housing, but fear the skyrocketing costs.

What You Need To Know

  • The three candidates say that, unlike the current councilmember, they would have kept negotiating on the One45 tower

  • Housing, affordability and safe streets are priorities for contenders in the marquee primary

  • Kristin Richardson Jordan dropped out of the race on Tuesday but will remain on the ballot

The current councilmember, Kristin Richardson Jordan, announced Tuesday that she won’t seek a second term, but her name will remain on the ballot because she made a late decision to bow out.

She had opposed the One45 mixed-use development, saying it was too unaffordable for the community.

Dickens told NY1, “I would have negotiated a little different than she did, because I never said no when I was in the City Council.”

Salaam and Taylor both also said they would have fought until there was an agreement.“I never would have stepped away from the negotiating table without having a win for both sides,” Salaam said.“I would not have left that table without a deal,” Taylor said.

Dickens leads the fundraising race.

She has the endorsements of Congressman Adriano Espaillat, as well as his predecessor, Charlie Rangel.

Her bid is a comeback attempt.

She served in the council before she became an assemblywoman.

She said she is known by “most of the community – because they’re the ones that asked me to run for this seat – because I was badly needed in the community versus the state where you think statewide, you budget statewide.”

Salaam is a motivational speaker, sharing lessons he learned from years of being wrongly convicted of an infamous rape in Central Park.

He is backed by former state Senator Keith Wright, a mainstay of Harlem politics.

Salaam argued all three candidates could represent Harlem in elected office — if his opponents keep their current jobs.

“We have great people who are doing tremendous work in the Assembly and we need them to continue doing that work,” Salaam told NY1. “We need to create an A-Team that brings me in as a person who provides hope, you provides a new vision.”

Taylor represents Upper Manhattan in the Assembly.

He has colleagues like State Senator Cordell Cleare and Assemblyman Eddie Gibbs in his corner.

“I see myself affecting change by leveraging partnerships,” he told NY1.

He’s been criticized for waffling on abortion rights but said it’s been an evolution, adding of the state Equality Amendment: “When I voted up, it was to allow women’s voices in my community, not for me to drown them out. And I stand with that and it wasn’t an easy place for me to get to.”

Voting in the ranked-choice election begins on June 17.

Primary Day is June 27.