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Adams has slim lead over Garcia, could take weeks to name winner

Adams has slim lead over Garcia, could take weeks to name winner

Eric Adams commanded a formidable 10-point lead of the first-choice votes in New York City’s hotly contested Democratic mayoral primary Tuesday.

Late returns showed the Brooklyn borough president well ahead of the pack — but it will be a couple of weeks before a winner can actually be declared.

“New York City said our first choice is Eric Adams,” he told a roaring crowd of supporters at his election night party in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

“Brothers and sisters, the race is not over but the movement is here,” Adams continued. “New Yorkers said the more we know Eric, the more we like Eric.”

“Tonight all of us, we are on the precipice of gaining the keys to the prosperity of our city.”

The first round of the Democratic mayoral primary voting had Adams (212,963 votes), Maya Wiley (150,675 votes) and Kathryn Garcia (139,438 votes) one, two, three, with 95 percent of the precincts reporting.

But Adams, a former NYPD captain, had opened a daunting lead, with 30.95 percent of the 693,323 ballots counted just before midnight.

Eric Adams commanded a formidable 10-point lead of the first-choice votes in New York City’s hotly contested Democratic mayoral primary Tuesday.
Eric Adams commanded a 10-point lead of the first-choice votes in NYC’s mayoral race on June 23, 2021.
Stephen Yang
Eric Adams commanded a formidable 10-point lead of the first-choice votes in New York City’s hotly contested Democratic mayoral primary Tuesday.
“I’m going to keep my city safe,” Adams said at his campaign event after the polls closed.
Stephen Yang

He was pulling away from Wiley, a former top aide to Mayor Bill de Blasio favored by progressive voters, who had 21.96 percent of the vote, and Garcia, the former Sanitation Commissioner, who netted 20.25 percent of the vote.

Garcia had been leading Wiley earlier in the count.

“I have been out there talking to voters and they so desperately want things to be better,” Garcia told her backers in East Williamsburg.

A graphic showing unofficial results from the Board of Elections.
Eric Adams opened up a commanding lead in the first round of the NYC Democratic mayoral primary.
NYC Board of Election

She reminded her supporters how many people had brushed her off in the beginning of the campaign — but said, “This is always, for me, been about the work.”

“I am excited about the possibility of rolling up our sleeves and getting it done,” Garcia said.

Andrew Yang was a more distant fourth at just 11.65 percent and 82,696 votes and conceded the race shortly before 11 p.m.

“I am not going to be the next mayor of New York City, based upon the numbers that have come in,” Yang told his supporters.

City Comptroller Scott Stringer was in fifth at 5.16 percent with just 36,758 votes.

The totals also do not include any of the absentee ballots cast in this election, which legally cannot be removed from their envelopes until next week.

Though polls closed at 9 p.m., it may take until July for a winner to be crowned, due to the launch of the ranked-choice voting system and the mounds of absentee ballots yet to be counted.

The Board of Elections have repeatedly warned that it could take weeks to sort out a victor. That’s because absentee ballots postmarked by Primary Day have until June 29 to work their way through the mail to get to the BOE offices. Once the absentee envelopes are opened and the ballots are scanned, the rank choice calculations must be rerun to incorporate all those votes.

Maya Wiley primary night
Maya Wiley saw a surge after an endorsement from AOC earlier this month.
William Lopez
Maya Wiley speaking to her supporters at her campaign headquarters in Brooklyn
Maya Wiley, in second place during initial returns on primary night, speaks to her supporters in Brooklyn.
William Lopez

Whoever wins the ranked-choice vote will be the heavy favorite in November’s general election to succeed Mayor Bill de Blasio thanks to the 8-1 registration advantage Democrats enjoy in New York City.

The elongated vote-counting process promises to offer an anticlimactic finish to this extraordinary and expensive race, which turned bitter and personal in its closing days.

Yang slammed Adams over his real estate dealings and previous ethics probes, while Adams labeled Yang “a fraud” and his surrogates suggested Yang’s decision to campaign with Garcia amounted to racially-motivated voter suppression.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 22: Kathryn Garcia, candidate for Mayor of New York City, delivers remarks to supporters on June 22, 2021 in the Bushwick neighborhood in New York City. After polls closed at 9pm, early results suggested that Eric Adams held the lead as ranked-choice voting was used for the first time. Final results of the Democratic primary for Mayor of New York City may not come until two weeks later.
“I am excited about the possibility of rolling up our sleeves and getting it done,” Kathryn Garcia said during her primary night remarks.

Stephanie Keith/Getty Images
062221 Primary election day in NYC comes to a close and candidate Kathryn Garcia celebrates with family, firends and supporters as she still remains in the race as a possible winner. 99 Scott Ave., Brooklyn.
Primary election day in NYC comes to a close and candidate Kathryn Garcia celebrates with family, friends and supporters on primary night.
Matthew McDermott

All told, the campaigns and independent groups backing candidates combined to spend at least $96 million in the race, according to a Post analysis of spending reports filed with the city’s Campaign Finance Board.

It was a race full of twists — even before some candidates officially launched their campaigns.

One expected front runner, Council Speaker Corey Johnson, dropped out before even formally getting in after disclosing he was suffering from a nasty bout of depression. (He later opted to run for city Comptroller).

New York City Mayoral candidate Andrew Yang, with his wife Evelyn Yang, right, delivers a concession speech during a primary election night party at the Green Fig on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 in New York, N.Y. (James Keivom for New York Post)
“I am not going to be the next mayor of New York City, based upon the numbers that have come in,” Andrew Yang told his supporters when he conceded just before 11 p.m.
James Keivom for New York Post

Another top contender, city Comptroller Scott Stringer, saw his life-long mayoral ambitions collapse after two women stepped forward with separate allegations of sexual misconduct, including groping.

Worries about dramatic increases in gun violence allowed Adams to consolidate the black vote in the outerboroughs — a must-win block for any citywide campaign — even as he struggled to land endorsements from key community leaders like Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and Rep. Gregory Meeks.

Meanwhile, Garcia — a respected bureaucrat but political novice — rocketed into contention after landing the coveted endorsement of The New York Times, which polling shows she parlayed into capturing a large chunk of Stringer’s political base.

People waiting to mark their ballots at at Frank McCourt High School in Manhattan on June 22, 2021.
People waiting to mark their ballots at at Frank McCourt High School in Manhattan on June 22, 2021.
AP Photo/Richard Drew

In nearly every conceivable way, the candidates and campaigns this cycle were a direct reaction to the staggering set of crises endured by the Big Apple over the last year-and-a-half.

The devastating COVID-19 pandemic killed 33,378 city residents and pushed hospitals to the very edge of collapse; an economic shutdown pushed unemployment past 20 percent; the murder of George Floyd ignited weeks of protests demanding new police reforms; the opportunistic looting hit businesses both rich (Manhattan) and poor (The Bronx); a weeks-long barrage of illegal fireworks shattered nerves already frayed by the pandemic’s endless wail of ambulance sirens; a vicious spate of hate crimes left many Asian Americans fearful; and murders surged as shootings doubled.

All of these cataclysms were thrust into the hands of de Blasio, a man once so disinterested in the mayoralty that he ran for president only to see his campaign end months before any votes were cast.

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson ultimately decided to not run for mayor despite being an early favorite.
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson ultimately decided to not run for mayor despite being an early favorite.
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Virtually all eight of the major candidates in the race sought to define themselves against Hizzoner and his handling of the self-described “perfect storm.”

Adams offered his resume as an ex-NYPD officer and reformer to voters as proof he could push the Police Department to make new reforms while maintaining the respect of rank-and-file cops.

Yang promised to provide an anecdote to de Blasio’s often scolding assessments of the Big Apple by championing the city — and took to campaigning in person during the COVID pandemic’s wintertime surge.

Sexual harassment accusations hurt Scott Stringer's mayoral campaign.
Sexual harassment accusations hurt Scott Stringer’s mayoral campaign.
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Wiley announced her campaign in the aftermath of the police reform protests, demanded the resignation of Police Commissioner Dermot Shea for his much-criticized handling of the protests and embracing the call from lefty activists to slash $1 billion from the NYPD for social programs.

Garcia focused on her knowledge of the bureaucracy and her status as the de Blasio administration’s ‘Mr. Fix-It’, offering her experience as the city’s pandemic food ‘czar’ as a stark contrast to City Hall’s usual struggles to implement the mayor’s promises.

Additional reporting by Steven Vago and Jason Beeferman

About the author

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James Partridge

James has worked in various news organizations and now aims to make Stock Market Pioneer one of the best and fastest growing news websites in the U.S. He contributes to the US and World sections.

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