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Adams Leads in New York Mayoral Primary

June 23, 2021 by Dan McCue
Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams speaks at his primary election night party Tuesday, June 22, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen).

Eric Adams, the centerist Brooklyn Borough President who ran for mayor of New York City with public safety as his top issue, emerged on Tuesday with a substantial lead in the Democratic primary, but fell well short of outright victory in a race that will now usher in a new period of uncertainty.

According to the Associated Press, with 84% of estimated votes reported as of 11 a.m., Eric Adams leads the contest with 31.7% of the vote. He is followed by progressive Maya Wiley, a former counsel to outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio, with 22.3%; moderate Kathryn Garcia, a former sanitation commissioner, with 19.5%.

The also rans were Andrew Yang, who has already conceded the race, with 11.7%, Scott Stringer, with 5%, Dianne Morales, with 2.8%, Raymond McGuire, with 2.3%, and Shaun Donovan, with 2.2%.

“Tonight we took a huge step forward,” Adams told his supporters Tuesday night as he called for unity. “As a city we’re going to turn our pain into purpose. We’re going to become a safe, affordable, fair city.”

As the votes continue to come in Adams is leading in every borough except Manhattan, where Garcia held a commanding lead.

But because Adams seemed unlikely to earn more than 50% of the vote, the contest will be decided under New York’s new ranked-choice voting system which means any of the top three candidates could still be declared the victor when the dust settles.

Under a system employed in New York City for the first time on Tuesday, voters could rank up to five candidates in order of preference, and absentee ballots — which don’t have to be in until June 29 — must also be counted.

As a result, it may take until mid-July before a Democratic primary victor — who would become an overwhelming favorite to win the general election in November — is officially declared.

Whoever wins the Democratic nomination will face Curtis Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels, who appears to have handily defeated Fernando Mateo, a restaurateur, in the Republican primary. With 84% of the vote counted, Sliwa leads 71.9% to Mateo’s 28.1%.

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