(The Center Square) – Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a former New York City Police captain and state senator, has earned the Democratic nomination in the city’s upcoming mayoral election.
Less than 24 hours after the New York City Board of Elections reported Adams was leading Kathryn Garcia by a less than 8,500-vote margin, Garcia called the front-runner and officially congratulated him.
The city’s former sanitation commissioner gave a concession speech Wednesday morning at the Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument at Central Park.
“I want to congratulate Eric Adams on a well-fought campaign,” she told reporters.
Unofficially, Adams’ lead over Garcia is just one percentage point after eight rounds of ranked choice voting. However, there do not appear to be enough outstanding votes for Garcia to make up the deficit.
In a series of tweets Tuesday night, Adams, who is Black, recalled going up poor in Brooklyn and Queens and noted that he climbed up the ranks to serve his city.
“Regardless of if I was your 1st choice, 5th choice, or not on your ballot, thank you,” Adams posted. “I'll be proud to work with you, for you, & alongside you as we work towards a better future.”
Despite his position as borough president, Adams faced questions during the campaign of whether he really lived in the city. It got to the point where he took reporters on a tour of his apartment in Brooklyn.
Neither Adams nor Garcia represented the more progressive wing of the Democratic Party during the primary campaign. In particular, neither called for defunding the police but offered alternative strategies to reforming law enforcement in the city.
Adams’ public safety platform calls for boosting diversity within the NYPD, including the appointment of a female police commissioner and use flexible staffing to assign detectives and officers to areas where crime is spiking.
Adams will now face Republican Curtis Sliwa in the November general election, and he is considered the heavy favorite in a city where Democrats far outnumber GOP voters. If he wins, Adams would be the city’s second Black mayor.
Tuesday’s latest round of results comes a week after a botched release of returns that included sample ballots meant to test equipment. The incident led to calls for reform within the independently run public agency.
In a statement released with the results, Board President Frederic Umane and Secretary Miguelina Camilo said last week’s human error was “unacceptable” and apologized to the candidates and voters. They also made it clear that the issue had nothing to do with the ranked-choice format that debuted in the city during the primary.
“As we continue to count absentee ballots and run further RCV tabulations, we will do so with a heightened sense that we must regain the trust of New Yorkers,” they said.
Voters approved the new system for primary and special elections two years ago. The system is designed to whittle large fields of candidates by eliminating last-place candidates until there are just two remaining.
Under the new format, voters could rank up to five candidates on their ballot. If their top candidate or top remaining candidate was eliminated after a round, their vote would go to their next highest-ranked remaining candidate.