NYC MAYORAL ELECTION

Who is Eric Adams, winner of the NYC mayoral primary?

The Brooklyn Borough President and former police captain has triumphed in the Democratic primary and is now expected to lead the city's post-pandemic recovery.

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Who is Eric Adams, winner of the NYC mayoral primary?
Dia Dipasupil AFP

Eric Adams has been named the victor in the New York City Democratic mayoral primary, making him the strong favourite to win the city’s general election in November. Although there are still votes to be counted Associated Press called the race in Adams’ favour on Tuesday afternoon.

Adams beat former New York City Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, civil rights lawyer Maya Wiley and former presidential candidate Andrew Yang to gain the Democrats’ nomination. Given the city’s political leanings, he is expected to replace the incumbent Mayor Bill de Blasio.

On Tuesday after Adams released a statement saying: “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 City.”

Who is Eric Adams and what has he done before?

Adams’ rise to power in New York City has seen him hold a number of major law enforcement roles and he now stands on the cusp of becoming just the second Black mayor of the United States’ largest city.

The 60-year-old served as an officer in the New York City Transit Police and then the New York City Police Department for over two decades, attaining the rank of captain at the time of his retirement from the force.

He went on to serve as representative for the 20th district in Brooklyn in the State Senate from 2006 to 2013, before being elected Brooklyn Borough President in November of that year. He won re-election in 2017 and in November 2020 announced his intention to stand in the city’s mayoral race.

In the build up to the election a spike in shootings and homicides across NYC pushed voters’ focus more towards crime and public safety concerns. Adams’ was the only one of the candidates to boast a strong law enforcement background and his denunciation of calls to ‘defund the police’ appear to have played well with more moderate Democrats.

Big job for the incoming New York City Mayor

The tension in the Democrats’ primary race was intensified by a number of unexpected twists in the final weeks of the campaign. There were accusations of sexual misconduct, a campaign implosion and claims that one candidate, Adams, did not actually live in the city.

There were technical difficulties with the vote-tallying system at the state’s Board of Elections but once Adams had been called as the victor the focus switched to his first priorities. The election was seen as one of the city’s most important in decades in the aftermath of the pandemic’s devastation and ongoing debate about racial and socioeconomic inequality.

Adams said: “Now we must focus on winning in November so that we can 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.”