Ex-Cop Eric Adams Takes Lead in NYC Mayoral Race in City’s First Election with Ranked-Choice Voting

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AMY GOODMAN: New Yorkers voted in its highly anticipated primary election Tuesday. In the heated mayoral race, Brooklyn borough president, former New York police officer Eric Adams is leading with over 31% of the vote, but it will likely take several weeks to announce a winner with the new ranked-choice voting system. Civil rights attorney Maya Wiley is currently in second place with 22% of the vote, followed closely by former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia. 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang has conceded after receiving less than 12% of the tallied vote.

Journalist Ross Barkan, who has written critically about Adams and other candidates, said he and other reporters were barred from Adams’ election night party.

Talk show host Curtis Sliwa has won the Republican nomination for New York City mayor.

Meanwhile, in a stunning upset in Buffalo, New York, India Walton has claimed victory over four-term mayor Byron Brown in the Democratic primary. Politico reports Walton is poised to become the first socialist mayor of a large U.S. city in 60 years. Walton will also be Buffalo’s first woman mayor if she wins the general election in November.

And those are some of the headlines. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The Quarantine Report. I’m Amy Goodman in New York, joined by Democracy Now! co-host Juan González in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Hi, Juan.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Hi, Amy. And welcome to all of our listeners and viewers across the country and around the world.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, before we move on with the show and talk about the major blocked civil rights legislation in Washington, can you comment on what’s happened so far, though we certainly don’t know final results, in the first — in the primary in New York for mayor?

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Yes, Amy. Well, it does look that Eric Adams has a pretty substantial lead in this — in the count. He’s got about almost a 10% lead over Maya Wiley. But clearly, since New York is embarking on ranked-choice voting for the first time in a mayoral election, there’s still a long way to go here. Now there’s going to be a process of tallying up the second, third, fourth and fifth choices of voters, so it’s going to take a while. I think the most interesting thing that’s happened is, one, the almost complete collapse of Andrew Yang, who was considered and was covered by the press as a front-runner for most of the time of this mayoral campaign.

Eric Adams, as you noted, is a former police captain who was a reformer against police abuse within the department, but who has emerged as a more centrist candidate and focusing on how he — not only his experience in government, but his ability to — his willingness to tackle rising crime in the city. And another part of Adams’s political viewpoints that hasn’t gotten as much coverage is that he’s a big supporter of charter schools, and he got millions of dollars in support from many billionaires who are also charter school backers. So, that remains to be seen how — if he does survive in the final count, what his policies will be toward the public school system.

And I think the — interestingly, Adams is leading in all the outer boroughs of New York City, while Kathryn Garcia, the former sanitation commissioner, won the majority of the votes in Manhattan, where, obviously, the biggest white portions of New York’s population are. So, this is — it’s going to be interesting to see. My sense is that Adams will probably prevail, but we don’t know because we’re in an uncharted territory when it comes to ranked-choice voting now.

AMY GOODMAN: Just a few years ago, Adams had described himself as a conservative Republican.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Yes, but having known Eric Adams for many years, as I’ve mentioned before, I think his conservative Republicanism was more a matter of convenience in that time, that he thought that he could get further within the Republican Party than in the Democratic Party, because most of his policies, I would not consider them to be what we consider today Republican policies.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, we will certainly continue to cover this closely watched race in New York City. When we come back, Senate Republicans have used the filibuster to block debate on the most sweeping voting rights bill considered by Congress in decades. We’ll look at the For the People Act and the fight over the filibuster with Reverend William Barber and Elizabeth Hira of the Brennan Center for Justice. Stay with us.

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