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Eric Adams wins NYC's Democratic mayoral primary, a direct path to winning City Hall

Adams is poised to become New York's second Black mayor if he is elected in November's general election after The Associated Press called the city's first ranked-choice vote.
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Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a former police captain, won New York City's Democratic mayoral primary, according to The Associated Press.

Adams is poised to become New York's second Black mayor if he is elected in November's general election over the Republican nominee, radio host Curtis Sliwa, because winning the primary in the heavily Democratic city is tantamount to winning the election.

The city's Board of Elections released the second batch of data in its initial ranked-choice vote, which showed Adams leading Kathryn Garcia, the city's former sanitation chief, by 8,426 votes — 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent.

The numbers released Tuesday included over 120,000 absentee ballots.

Garcia conceded on Wednesday morning.

“I want to congratulate Eric Adams on a well-fought campaign,” Garcia said, while also touting her own success. "This campaign has come closer than any other moment in history to breaking that glass ceiling in selecting New York City’s first female mayor. We cracked the hell out of it, and it's ready to be broken,” she said.

Mayoral candidate Eric Adams arrives for debate at CBS
Mayoral candidate Eric Adams arrives for debate at CBS Broadcast Cente on June 10, 2021.Lev Radin / Pacific Press / LightRocket via Getty images

Adams told CNN in an interview Wednesday morning that "it's extremely exciting right now that, you know, just an everyday blue-collar worker, I like to say, is going to potentially become the mayor of the city of New York."

“This city is like many of our cities in America, we're ready to finally look after working class people. And I'm going to be the mayor to symbolize that, partner with the other mayors across this country," he said.

During the campaign, Adams opposed the "defund the police" movement in a crowded field of candidates, which included several progressives pushing to reallocate funds from the police department to social service programs.

Voting ended June 22, but final numbers are not expected until next week — absentee voters whose ballots have been challenged or were tentatively disqualified because of technical or clerical errors still have until Friday to correct, or "cure," them. The total number of those ballots is not enough to affect the outcome of the election.

Adams had a strong lead in the initial in-person voting results, with 31.7 percent of the first-preference votes, compared to former mayoral counsel Maya Wiley's 22.3 percent and former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia's 19.5 percent.

Adams' lead was chopped significantly last week after successive rounds of ranked-choice voting numbers were factored in. It was the city's first foray into using ranked-choice voting, which allowed voters to rank up to five candidates by preference.

Those numbers had Adams leading Garcia by under 15,000 votes, and Wiley being eliminated.

The shifting numbers came after an embarrassing flub by the Board of Elections, which released voting information that included 135,000 test ballots.

"The Board apologizes for the error and has taken immediate to ensure the most accurate up to date results are reported," it said in a statement after the foul-up.

The Adams, Garcia and Wiley campaigns had all filed legal actions seeking the right to review the ranked-choice vote tally. Adams told CNN he would not proceed with his case, and Wiley, like Garcia, conceded Wednesday morning, making the prospect of a legal challenge unlikely.

A manual recount would have been expected to take weeks.