Former police officer Eric Adams was leading all candidates in Tuesday’s preliminary election to select the Democratic Party’s nominee for New York City mayor.
With nearly 85% of all voting precincts reporting, Adams, the president of the city’s historic neighborhood of Brooklyn, emerged in first place out of 13 candidates with nearly 32% of those who voted in person or during the early voting period. Maya Wiley, a former civil rights attorney and top aide to outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio, was in second place with 22% of the vote, followed by former city sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia with over 19%.
Tuesday’s preliminary election was the first to be conducted under the ranked-choice voting system, which allows voters to choose up to five candidates in order of preference. With no candidate winning more than 50% of first-choice votes, the votes that went to the last-place candidate will be reallocated to the voters’ second choices.
The city’s Board of Elections will announce the first round of ranked-choice results on June 29, and will continue to release further results as absentee ballots are counted. The final results are expected to be announced sometime in mid-July.
Adams, who could become the city’s second Black mayor, acknowledged late Tuesday night that it was too soon to declare outright victory. But he told a crowd of jubilant supporters “there’s something else we know — that New York City said our first choice is Eric Adams.”
Adams campaigned on a platform of increasing police resources to combat the city’s surging crime rate as it begins its post-pandemic recovery period. Wiley gained support from the city’s more liberal elements when she proposed shifting some of the police department’s massive $6 billion budget to social services, while Garcia based her campaign on her previous experience in city government.
Andrew Yang, the millionaire entrepreneur who attracted widespread support during his campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination and was considered a top contender in the mayoral race, conceded Tuesday after finishing in fourth place with nearly 12% of the vote.
The eventual Democratic nominee will be the overwhelming favorite to win the November general election in the predominantly Democratic city. He or she will face Curtis Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels civilian patrol group and winner of Tuesday’s Republican nominating election.