New York, United States: Ex-cop Eric Adams, who fought racial discrimination in the NYPD, is set to become the city’s second Black mayor, entrusted with managing the city’s post-pandemic recovery amid an increase in gun violence.
After his closest competitor conceded Wednesday, the 60-year-old, who grew up in poverty in Brooklyn before rising to become the borough’s president, is expected to be declared the Democratic primary victor.
Adams, who ran on a pro-public-safety platform, declared victory late Tuesday after the city’s Board of Elections revealed numbers showing he was a whisker ahead of fellow moderate Kathryn Garcia, 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent.
Because New York is a Democratic stronghold, Adams is almost certain to defeat Republican Curtis Sliwa, a 67-year-old volunteer crime fighter, in the November mayoral race.
Adams, who went vegan after being diagnosed with diabetes in 2016, said he was “honored to be the Democratic nominee to be the mayor of the city I’ve always called home” in a tweet.
Adams told the New York Post in June if elected as Mayor, he intends to open lifestyle-medicine clinics throughout the five boroughs to provide New Yorkers with a healthful alternative to the long-term impacts of carnivorous diets.
Adams’ health was in bad shape when he switched to a vegan diet: “I lost sight in my left eye,” he said of the effects of Type 2 diabetes.
The former police captain will succeed Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York City since 2014.
After the late David Dinkins, who led America’s largest metropolis from 1990 to 1993, Adams will become the city’s second Black mayor.
Adams portrayed himself as a defender of New York’s working-class, notably in the boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, while mostly ignoring Manhattan’s wealthier, white neighborhoods.
Adams claimed victory thanks to a “diverse, five-borough coalition led by working-class New Yorkers” in a statement released late Tuesday.
The former police captain grew up in a large family in a low-income Queens area. His father worked as a butcher and his mother as a cleaner.
After being beaten by two NYPD officers when he was 15, he says he wanted to join the force.
Adams joined the NYPD in the mid-1980s, when violence was rampant in the city, and stayed for 22 years, ascending through the ranks to captain.
Recovering the economy
He co-founded “100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care” in 1995, an advocacy group dedicated to combating police racism that still persists today.
In 2006, Adams was elected to the New York State Senate, where he served until 2013, when he was elected Brooklyn Borough President, paving the way for his mayoral ambitions.
During the campaign, the moderate candidate promised to tackle racial inequality, but he also made a point of emphasizing the need for law enforcement in his bid for mayor.
In New York, which has long prided itself on being one of America’s safest cities, shooting occurrences are up nearly 38% from last summer.
Adams opposed police defunding, which became a rallying cry for many on the American left.
Maya Wiley, a progressive favourite who won Alexandria Ocasio-endorsement, Cortez’s is expected to finish third behind Adams and Garcia, a former sanitation commissioner.
Adams will also have to navigate a devastated New York City out of the pandemic, which has claimed the lives of 33,000 people.
While life has virtually returned to normal thanks to a vigorous vaccination campaign and a positive rate of less than 1%, Adams will focus on reviving the economy and tourism.
The Partnership for New York City business group said Wednesday that Eric is a “strong character” who will not be pushed by special groups or ideologies.
“If he is elected mayor in November, the business community stands ready to help him achieve these objectives,” it added.