The Guardian: Adam Gabbatt In NEW YORK – Former police officer Eric Adams will be the next mayor of New York City, after the Democrat defeated Curtis Sliwa in Tuesday’s election.
Adams was on course to easily beat Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels, with a lead of 66 percent to 29 percent after more than half of projected votes were counted.
Adams will now take charge of the largest city in the US in January, when he will be faced with overseeing recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 34,500 New Yorkers.
Adams, 61, becomes only the second Black person to be elected New York mayor, after David Dinkins, who led the city from 1990 to 1993. Adams, who defeated several progressive candidates in the Democratic primary, has pledged to cut government inefficiency and made public safety a central part of his campaign.
In a speech, Adams urged unity and told his story as a working-class child who grew up to become mayor. “Tonight, New Yorkers have chosen one of their own,” Adams, said in a victory speech. “I am you.”
Adams urged unity. “Today, we take off the intramural jersey and we put on one jersey, Team New York,” he told supporters at a celebration at the New York Marriott. “Tonight is not just a victory over adversity, it is a vindication of faith. It is the proof that the forgotten can be the future.”
The centrist politician has been a disappointing choice for many progressives who hoped to see radical reforms in the criminal justice system. Adams has promised to strike a balance between fighting crime and ending racial injustice in law enforcement.
After winning a contentious primary, Adams was always the favorite to defeat Sliwa, a Republican, in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans seven to one. He will replace Bill de Blasio, a fellow Democrat who is limited to two terms as mayor, in January.
Adams was born in Brownsville, Brooklyn, in 1960, and spoke during the campaign about his impoverished upbringing. He decided to join the New York City police department in an effort to change the force from within, Adams said, after being beaten by officers when he was 15 years old.
He joined the police in 1984 and became a captain before leaving in 2006 to run – successfully – for state senate. During his time in the state legislature he was criticized by the New York inspector general for his role in attempting to bring a casino to a racetrack in Queens, New York City. Adams had accepted campaign contributions from a politically connected group bidding for the gambling franchise.
In 2013 Adams was elected to Brooklyn borough president, a power-light position that chiefly involves championing the borough, but one which also boosted Adams’s profile as he weighed a run for mayor.
Adams trailed Andrew Yang, a 2020 presidential candidate, in the early months of the Democratic primary, but came through New York’s ranked choice voting to edge out Kathryn Garcia, a former New York City sanitation commissioner, in July.
His campaign raised eyebrows over the summer when Adams was forced to answer questions about whether he actually lives in the city he was bidding to lead, given he owns a home in New Jersey and was rarely spotted at the address in Brooklyn where he claims to reside. Adams has insisted he lives in New York City.
Sliwa, a talk radio host best known for founding the Guardian Angels, a volunteer crime prevention group, in the 1970s, proved a charismatic if ultimately flawed candidate.
He had been a regular presence on New York City’s streets, frequently standing on top of a car-pulled float and spreading his message through a microphone and speaker. Sliwa wore his red beret throughout the campaign, including during the mayoral debates, but struggled to gain much attention in a race where Adams had long been the presumptive winner.
- Top Feature Photo: Eric Adams has pledged to cut government inefficiency and made public safety a central part of his campaign – Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images