BREAKING NEWS: Eric Adams defeats Curtis Sliwa to be named the next mayor of New York City
- Eric Adams, a 61-year-old Democrat and former policeman, will be the next mayor of New York City
- He takes over from the widely unpopular Democrat incumbent Bill de Blasio, who served two terms and could not run again
- Adams easily beat his Republican challenger, Curtis Sliwa, who turned up to vote on Tuesday with one of his 17 cats
- Adams campaigned as a moderate, rejecting the idea of defunding the police and pledging to crack down on violent crime that soared during the pandemic
- He promised to tackle wealth inequalities and reform the education system, as well, and is now tasked with rebuilding the COVID-battered city
New York City has elected black former policeman Eric Adams as mayor, making the Democrat the next leader of America’s biggest city.
The result was called by Associated Press shortly after the polls closed at 9pm Eastern Time.
The centrist Democrat trounced Republican rival and volunteer crime fighter Curtis Sliwa in the liberal-voting bastion to become just the second African American to lead the Big Apple.
Sliwa, who founded the vigilante group Guardian Angels, showed up to vote on Tuesday with his cat – one of 17 he owns.
He has made animal welfare a pillar of his campaign.
The cat was denied entry to the polling station, but a poll worker held the animal while Sliwa went inside.
Democratic Mayoral Candidate Eric Adams arrived at PS 81 in Brooklyn to cast his vote
Adams is facing Republican Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa in the race
New York mayor is often described as the most difficult job in the United States after president.
A victory for Adams caps a remarkable rise for someone who was born in poverty in Brooklyn and briefly worked for a gang as a teenager before a beating by police officers spurred his determination to reform the NYPD from within.
‘Because I’m standing here, everyday New Yorkers are going to realize that they deserve the right to stand in the city also. This is for the little guy,’ said Adams, wiping away tears outside a polling station after casting his vote.
The 61-year-old will succeed unpopular progressive Bill de Blasio, whose two-term limit ends December 31.
As mayor for more than eight million people, Adams will oversee America’s largest municipal budget, crippled by the Covid-19 crisis, and its biggest police force and public school system.
He will be tasked with leading the city’s recovery after the pandemic, which has killed more than 34,000 residents and closed hundreds of thousands of businesses.
The moderate candidate defeated progressive rivals in June’s Democratic primary by mainly pledging to crack down on violent crime that soared during the pandemic.
He promised to tackle wealth inequalities and reform the education system, as well.
Adams will also have to grapple with a severe lack of affordable housing, violent chaos at the notorious Rikers Island prison and the effects of more extreme weather events on New York’s creaking infrastructure.
One of his trickiest balancing acts will be trying to reform police practices while keeping onside a heavily unionized force that feels it has been underappreciated during the de Blasio era.
Adams opposes defunding the police, a policy that is a rallying cry for many on the American left.
He is also seen as friendly towards the business community and has not called for higher taxes for wealthy residents.