New York City Mayoral Race: Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has won the Democratic primary for mayor of New York City. Here’s what both sides are saying. To have stories like this and more delivered directly to your inbox, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.
Top Story: New York City Mayoral Race
On Tuesday night, the Associated Press reported that Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has won the Democratic primary for mayor of New York City. Adams will face Curtis Sliwa, the Republican founder of the Guardian Angels, in the general election this fall. If elected, the former police captain would be the city’s second Black mayor. Adams edged out sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia and former City Hall legal advisor Maya Wiley in New York’s first major race to use ranked-choice voting. “The city’s first experience with the system in a major election was bumpy,” the AP reports. “As votes were being tallied on June 29, elections officials bungled the count by inadvertently including 135,000 old test ballots. Adams, Garcia, and Wiley all filed lawsuits last week seeking the right to review the ranked-choice tally.” Here’s what both sides are saying about the Democratic primary results in NYC’s mayoral race.
On The Left
Left-leaning commentators and outlets highlight Adams’ stance on crime and policing. Adams campaigned against “defunding the police,” which they note resonated with an electorate coping with rising crime rates.
“America’s left can’t afford to be silent on crime. Here’s how to talk about it and win” Ben Davis, The Guardian: “The apparent victory of former cop Eric Adams, who heavily focused his campaign on opposing any efforts to defund the police, has been portrayed as a referendum on calls to defund the police. … He framed his support for a more muscular police department through a racial justice lens, claiming that cutting policing would hurt communities of color. …. This is a narrative that has been difficult to counter for a left that is comfortable talking about policing but can sometimes be uncomfortable talking about crime. … This is not to say that the left should abandon the phrase ‘defund the police.’ It is a clear, self-evident demand that has mobilized millions… But in order to take the next step from protest to implementing policy, the left needs to both sustain energy in the streets and elect legislators who are able to exercise power and achieve movement demands. … Our task is to win; to do this, we need a message on crime that not only refuses to shy away from the problem but also provides a clear, mobilizing vision for the future.”
“Eric Adams Wins Democratic Primary for New York City Mayor” Katie Glueck, New York Times: “The apparent victory of Mr. Adams, who embraces a relatively expansive role for law enforcement in promoting public safety, amounts to a rebuke of the left wing of his party that promoted far-reaching efforts to scale back the power of the police. The race was a vital if imperfect test of Democratic attitudes around crime amid a national wave of gun violence in American cities. … While Mr. Adams was named the winner on Tuesday night, he faces significant challenges in unifying the city around his candidacy. He has faced scrutiny over transparency issues concerning his tax and real estate disclosures; his fund-raising practices and even questions of residency, issues that may intensify under the glare of the nominee’s spotlight, and certainly as mayor, should he win as expected in November.”
“How Eric Adams Did It” David Freedlander, New York Magazine: “Adams won by constructing an old-school political coalition of labor unions, political clubs, religious leaders, and homeowners in the majority Black precincts of Brooklyn and Queens. … The final result revealed a city sharply divided among racial lines, as Adams, who would be only the city’s second Black mayor, winning easily in most Black and Hispanic neighborhoods and Garcia splitting the white vote with Maya Wiley… Wiley surged late … after getting endorsed by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but her third-place showing reveals that the city’s left is not yet a potent political force. … Adams still has to get past Republican talk show host and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa in the general election. … But in a city in which Democrats outnumber Republicans by 7-1, at this moment Adams’s ascension to City Hall is all but assured.”
On The Right
Right-leaning commentators and outlets also focused on Adams’ approach to public safety, especially as it relates to his stance against the “defund the police” movement. Additionally, one author pointed out the hypocrisy of the top three Democratic candidates challenging the election results.
“Defund someone else’s police” Editorial, Washington Examiner: “While juvenile activists proclaim ‘All cops are bastards’ and their ideological champions in Congress demand we ‘defund the police’ and their blinkered friends in the press corps tell a story of a public that wants to be unpoliced, the voters of New York City just gave us a dose of reality.” Adams’ apparent win tells us voters are saying ‘Violent crime is on the rise, and we need the police to protect us.’ Notably, Maya Wiley, the George Soros-backed ‘defund the police’ candidate in the race, trailed 9 points behind Adams. … The real revelation comes from looking at the election results at the local level, and comparing them to crime maps. The pattern is clear: The more violent crime affected you, the more likely it is that you voted for Eric Adams. The more you lived in a safe, wealthy neighborhood, the more likely it is that you voted for the ‘defund the police’ candidate. … ‘Defund the police’ is a fun idea to hold when it has no consequences. When things get close to home, though, New Yorkers, like everyone else, want a cop on the beat.”
“There’s Good Election News—Except in New York” Gerard Baker, Wall Street Journal Opinion: “Democrats and the media have a simple rule about disputed elections: When Democrats complain about the result, there must have been something profoundly wrong with the process that rendered the outcome unreliable: dodgy ballots (Al Gore, Florida, 2000), corrupt machinery (John Kerry, Ohio, 2004), voter suppression (just about every election Democrats have lost in the south in the last 30 years but especially Stacey Abrams, Georgia, 2018). When Republicans complain (Donald Trump, 2020), the challenge is an unconscionable threat to the foundations of our democracy… So our consistent and principled defenders of election integrity face something of a conundrum in New York City… All three leading Democratic candidates filed lawsuits last week raising the possibility of irregularities in counting… New York’s new ranked-choice voting system has combined with rank incompetence by the city’s Board of Elections to produce near total confusion about the result of the contest.”
“Tucker Carlson PRAISES Eric Adams’ win in NYC Democratic mayoral primary” Harriet Alexander, Daily Mail: “Fox News host Tucker Carlson praised Eric Adams for winning the Democratic primary in the New York City mayoral race because he vowed to stamp down on surging violent crime in the Big Apple.” Carlson said: “We are absolutely certain we will be deeply disappointed by Eric Adams – at least as he has all kinds of problems and we don’t agree with him on anything, but the point of Eric Adams is worth remembering. … He won because he was alone in acknowledging that violent crime is a huge problem for everyone in New York and he vowed to do something about it. That is a winning message because it is rooted in the physical reality and we wish him absolutely the best in fighting crime in New York.”
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According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released Friday, “Concern over crime has reached the highest point in four years amid a spike in killings in big cities and an uptick in violent crime,” Cleve R. Wootson Jr. and Scott Clement report for the Washington Post. Moreover, “The percentage of Americans who say crime in the United States is ‘extremely serious’ has reached its highest point in two decades.” As noted by both sides, Adams’ apparent victory highlights how calls to “defund the police” did not resonate with voters in America’s biggest city.
One fun fact about Eric Adamsis that — as of the time of this writing — he is unverified on Twitter, meaning he has no blue checkmark next to his name. In fact, Adams only has 18,000 followers compared to his fellow New York native, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has 12.7 million followers. Ocasio-Cortez has been one of the most vocal proponents of “defunding the police,” yet Eric Adams is about to become the mayor of New York City. It’s a simple reminder that the loudest voices on both sides can and do drive the narrative, usually starting with a 280-character post on social media. These snippets then drive nightly news segments. At the end of the day, however, Twitter is not real life.
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Are you concerned about rising crime rates across the country, or do you think it’s a matter of media sensationalism? Comment below to share your thoughts.