By Associated Press
NEW YORK — Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has won the Democratic primary for mayor of New York City after appealing to the political center and promising to strike the right balance between fighting crime and ending racial injustice in policing.
A former police captain, Adams would be the city’s second Black mayor if elected.
He triumphed over a large Democratic field in New York’s first major race to use ranked choice voting. Results from the latest tabulations released Tuesday showed him leading former city sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia by 8,426 votes, or a little more than 1 percentage point.
“While there are still some very small amounts of votes to be counted, the results are clear: an historic, diverse, five-borough coalition led by working-class New Yorkers has led us to victory in the Democratic primary for mayor of New York,” Adams said in a statement.
He said he was running to “deliver on the promise of this great city for those who are struggling, who are underserved, and who are committed to a safe, fair, affordable future for all New Yorkers.”
Adams will be the prohibitive favorite in the general election against Curtis Sliwa, the Republican founder of the Guardian Angels. Democrats outnumber Republicans 7-to-1 in New York City.
Adams’ closest vanquished Democratic rivals included Garcia, who campaigned as a technocrat and proven problem-solver, and former City Hall legal advisor Maya Wiley, who had progressive support including an endorsement from U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Andrew Yang, the 2020 presidential candidate known for his proposed universal basic income, was an early favorite but faded in the race.
Voting in the primary ended June 22. Early returns showed Adams in the lead, but New Yorkers had to wait for tens of thousands of absentee ballots to be counted and for rounds of tabulations done under the new ranked choice system.
Under the system, voters ranked up to five candidates for mayor in order of preference. Candidates with too few votes to win were eliminated and ballots cast for them redistributed to the surviving contenders, based on the voter preference, until only two were left.
The city’s first experience with the system in a major election was bumpy. As votes were being tallied on June 29, elections officials bungled the count by inadvertently including 135,000 old test ballots . Erroneous vote tallies were posted for several hours before officials acknowledged the error and took them down.
The mistake had no impact on the final outcome of the race.
Adams, Garcia and Wiley all filed lawsuits last week seeking the right to review the ranked choice tally.
Wiley said in a statement Tuesday that the board “must be completely remade following what can only be described as a debacle.” As for herself, she said her campaign would have more to say soon about “next steps.”
Garcia’s campaign issued no immediate response to Tuesday’s vote tally, but said she would be making a statement Wednesday morning.
Adams, 60, is a moderate Democrat who opposed the “defund the police” movement.
“We’re not going to recover as a city if we turn back time and see an increase in violence, particularly gun violence,” Adams said after three people including a 4-year-old girl were shot and wounded in Times Square in May.