New York City poised to elect second Black mayor in city’s 400 year history

by Nate Morris

After weeks of vote counting in the country’s largest city, a winner has finally emerged in the New York mayoral race. In the final round of ranked-choice vote tabulation, Eric Adams prevailed by fewer than 9,000 votes out of 800,000 cast.

Adams, 60, is poised to become the city’s next mayor, replacing outgoing mayor Bill DeBlasio.

The former NYPD officer turned Brooklyn Borough President is likely to prevail in the upcoming general election.  If elected, Adams would become only the second Black mayor since the city’s founding.

Win deemed as setback for the ‘defund the police’ movement in New York

Many political analysts view Adams’ historic victory as a rebuke of more progressive policing reform efforts.

As crime in the city escalates in the wake of the pandemic, the debate around these reforms has become increasingly polarized.

In one of the final debates of the campaign, Adams claimed that the “defund the police” movement is lead by “young, white, affluent people” and not people of color.

Likewise, during a speech to supporters in June, Adams stated “if Black lives really matter, then it can’t only be against police abuse. It has to be against the violence that’s ripping apart our communities.”

While Adams is against decreasing police funding, his campaign platform calls for enhancing public trust through:

  • Recruiting a more diverse police force
  • Publishing lists of officers under investigation for misconduct
  • Giving community councils power to block precinct captain candidates

Recently, New York became the first city in the nation to end qualified immunity for its officers. During an interview in April, Adams agreed with the move, calling it “imperative“.

Adams set for historic victory against Republican in November

Adams’ top two opponents, Maya Wiley and Kathryn Garcia, conceded the race for mayor on Wednesday. New York still has yet to elect a woman to serve in the top job.

Adams will face Republican nominee Curtis Sliwa in the general election on November 2nd.

Sliwa, who bills himself as a Trump Republican, recently received the endorsement of former mayor and now disbarred-lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

In a statement on Twitter following news of his victory in the Democratic primary, Adams wrote in part:

“I grew up poor in Brooklyn & Queens. I wore a bulletproof vest to keep my neighbors safe… And I’m honored to be the Democratic nominee to be the Mayor of the city I’ve always called home. Thank you, New York!”

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