NEW YORK – Democrat Eric Adams won New York City's mayoral race on Tuesday on assurances to boost public safety and give voice to working-class residents, drawing on his two decades as a New York City Police Department captain and as a Black man who experienced police brutality as a youth.
The Associated Press called Adams's victory 10 minutes after the polls closed at 9PM.
Adams, who defeated long-shot GOP candidate Curtis Silwa in the overwhelmingly Democratic city, pitched himself as a moderate Democrat who opposes the "defund the police" movement, but promises to rid of racist policing practices. He also portrays himself as a "blue-collar" New Yorker, saying working-class Democrats have been ignored by the party's more liberal wing.
The varied local Orthodox Jewish community overwhelmingly supported Adams, trusting that the 61-year-old Brooklyn native can curb the increasing rates of crime in a city still reeling from the economic toll of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We need a mayor who will set the tone of inclusiveness, and Eric Adams is the right person at the right time. He’s good for the city and good for the Jewish community,” Flatbush Jewish Community Coalition chairman Josh Mehlman told The Jerusalem Post following Adams’s Democratic primary victory in June.
“The entire Flatbush area was solid for Eric Adams,” Mehlman added. “I think we did very well.”
Adams has stated that the city cannot make a full economic recovery without addressing violent crime. He's spoken of being beaten by police officers as a teenager. While a member of the NYPD, Adams developed a reputation as an activist after co-founding 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, an advocacy group that spoke out against police brutality.
Adams is expected to take office in January from term-limited Mayor Bill de Blasio, also a Democrat, as New York City seeks to rebuild after the COVID-19 pandemic. He is set to become the second African-American mayor of New York, after David Dinkins.
Reuters contributed to this report.