Crime has often dominated polls as a top voter concern, placing Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams – a former police captain who came forward almost singularly on the promise of restoring safety to the city – in the first place and downplaying the impact of the “defund NYPD” movement that gained a foothold in city politics last year.
“New Yorkers are feeling that energy,” Adams told reporters in Manhattan Tuesday morning, reiterating his campaign pledge to reduce shootings.
Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, former sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia and former de Blasio advisor Maya Wiley have formed the front row in the overcrowded race in recent weeks. Yang and Garcia were the only ones to form a late-running alliance, a move common in other ranked pick campaigns across the country.
The Democratic candidate will not be officially determined until the city’s board of elections releases its mail-in ballot tally on July 6. The advent of priority voting allows New Yorkers to select up to five candidates for each. position. The system is triggered when no candidate obtains 50% of the votes in the first pass. The council plans to publish the preliminary results of the preferential ballots on June 29.
Yang spent months in first place after breaking into primary with high notoriety and a relentlessly positive message. He filmed an advertisement on the famous Cyclone roller coaster to tout the city’s return, demonstrated movie ticket buying with his wife when theaters reopened, and clashed with the powerful teachers’ union over the closures. of schools.
But the city’s regular reopening throughout the spring took Yang’s breath away, and his campaign failed amid a series of public mistakes that critics said demonstrated what they had always feared: a candidate who never voted in municipal elections during his 25 years in the city lacked the municipal know-how for the trade.
Sensing the growing public concern for crime, Yang took a strong anti-crime stance, but it was difficult to wrest the issue away from Adams, who boasted of 22 years in the police force and spoke openly about being assaulted. by cops as a black teenager in Queens. .
The two developed a bitter rivalry, which was fully displayed during the televised debates. Yang recently began questioning Adams’ real residence following a POLITICO story detailing confusing answers and sloppy documents about where he lives.
Adams and his surrogates went so far as to accuse Yang and Garcia of attempting to suppress voters from black New Yorkers by teaming up in the closing days of the race. They said their joint appearances were part of a strategy to attract each other’s supporters, but Adams criticized the arrangement, at one point citing voting taxes used to suppress black votes.
Garcia, the city’s sanitation commissioner under de Blasio for seven years, made a surprising rise in her first candidacy for public office. She lagged behind in the polls and struggled with fundraising, but the coveted endorsement of the New York Times and Daily News editorial boards helped her rise to the top late enough in the race that she ‘she does not suffer many negative attacks. In recent weeks, Adams has started running ads attacking him.
Wiley, the leading progressive candidate, competed for the attention and endorsements of City Comptroller Scott Stringer and nonprofit CEO Dianne Morales, and didn’t pick up enough speed until each of their campaigns implode.
Wiley decided to join the run last summer, when the city was plagued by protests of police accountability that matched his passion and background. But the ground changed under her, and her law enforcement reform agenda did not end up meeting the wishes of a majority of voters.
As they picked their candidates on Tuesday, voters also weighed in on the new voting system and offered a variety of reactions.
“I like having the option,” said Shannon Sciaretta, 24, of Queens. “Instead of choosing one candidate, I can choose more than one, and maybe one of them will stay. “
Others were less enthusiastic.
“I thought it was all bad,” said retiree R. Reiser, 66, after voting on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. “There are so many applicants and there are so many offices and the information available was really hard to come by… You don’t know what someone represents. “