Eric Adams continued on his way to becoming the next mayor of New York City after an absentee ballot count released Tuesday night showed he held a small lead over fellow rivals in the Democratic party primaries.
By the latest board of elections tally, Adams, the Brooklyn Borough President and retired police captain, had a 50.5% to 49.5% lead over Kathryn Garcia, the former head of the sanitation department. They were separated by 8,426 votes, with only 3,700 in circulation. Maya Wiley, the leading progressive candidate, came in third.
In a statement, Adams said: “While there are still some very small numbers of votes to be counted, the results are clear: a historic, diverse, five-county coalition led by working-class New Yorkers has led us to victory in the Primary. Democrats for Mayor of New York “.
The results were unofficial and can still be questioned, but the Associated Press called a primary for Adams on Tuesday night. Several campaigns threatened legal action after an extraordinary mistake by the board led to an erroneous recount a week ago and thwarted the city’s first choice election.
The board blamed that error, in which 135,000 “test” ballots were included in its tally, on human error and apologized.
Adams, who would be the city’s second black mayor, after David Dinkins, ran as a moderate with a unique ability to use the police to address escalating gun violence and hate crimes while reforming the Department. Both he and Garcia, who showed a final outburst of support, rejected progressive calls to “defund” the police.
Given New York City’s overwhelming Democratic voter turnout, the party’s primary winner is expected to prevail in the November general election.
Under the classified election system, voters could select up to five candidates on their ballot in order of preference. The losing candidates would be eliminated and their votes would be successively reallocated until only two contenders remained.
Adams came in first after the initial voting, but his lead narrowed to just 15,908 votes after the results of the qualification process were announced last week. When corrected a day later, his gap with Garcia was just 14,755 ballots, with about 124,000 missing ballots to be counted.