New York mayoral candidate Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, answered questions about his residency status Wednesday, allowing local reporters to tour his home in Central Brooklyn.
"If I'm not at Borough Hall, I'm here," Adams, a Democrat, told reporters in his ground-floor, red-brick home. It was decorated with framed newspaper clippings, family photos and other accoutrements of a lived-in residence. "Majority of my nights I sleep here."
A Politico New York report this week raised serious questions about Adams' city residency, which is a requirement to be mayor. Politico noted several addresses associated with Adams in official records, including the toured property, another residence in Brooklyn and a co-op in New Jersey that he shares with his partner, Tracey Collins.
"How foolish would someone have to be to run to be the mayor of the city of New York and live in another municipality?" Adams asked reporters. Adams said that he has used the New Jersey property occasionally but that the Brooklyn home is his main residence. Property records show that the home was bought in 2003 and that the mortgage was satisfied in 2018.
A recent poll placed Adams first with 23 percent in the crowded Democratic field over seven other candidates. In the heavily Democratic city, whoever wins the June 22 primary is likely to win the general election in November.
Second, at 17 percent, was Maya Wiley, a civil rights lawyer and former counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who got a big boost after she was endorsed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who represents parts of Queens and the Bronx.
Businessman Andrew Yang, a 2020 presidential contender, was third, at 15 percent; former city Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia dropped by 9 points since the last poll, to 12 percent; former City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who has denied sexual assault allegations, was at 9 percent; Obama administration Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan was at 4 percent; businessman Raymond McGuire was at 3 percent; and former nonprofit executive Dianne Morales was at 2 percent. The poll found that 12 percent of voters remained undecided.
The poll's margin of error was +/-3.6 percentage points.
Adams, who has criticized Yang, saying he left the city during the coronavirus pandemic, was joined by his son, Jordan, 25, during the tour. He said his former job as a city police captain made him "secretive and quiet." Adams then grew emotional, wiping away tears as he discussed an incident in which his car was hit by gunfire when his son was a baby.
"And my opponents, who trail me, they know where I've been," he said. "It's not a mystery where I am."
He added: "My secrecy is my family. I signed up for this life. They did not sign up for this life." He said the rented-out units in his properties helped pay for his son's college tuition.
But his opponents still pounced.
"You cannot simply have a cloud over the leadership of this city having to do with whether the rules of engagement have been followed," McGuire told the New York Daily News. "Nobody gets a pass in this city. Nobody should get a pass."
His other opponents also excoriated him and called on him to release more records, which he said he would do.
Garcia told the newspaper in a statement that Adams may be "misusing his political office at the taxpayers' expense" by sleeping in his office. Wiley said the news was "straight-up bizarre," the paper reported.