Watch CBS News

NYC Mayoral Race: Eric Adams Leads Democratic Primary With 50.5% After Absentee Vote Count

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The Board of Elections released results from the absentee ballot count in the Democratic mayoral race on Tuesday night and Eric Adams continues to lead.

The Brooklyn borough president has 50.5%, 8,426 votes ahead of Kathryn Garcia, who has 49.5%.

Though Adams declared victory and The Associated Press projected him as the winner, the ranked choice voting counting is not done yet. The Board of Elections will give voters until Friday to "cure," or fix, any ballots filled out wrong, or deemed invalid. The vote will then be officially finalized next week, CBS2's Dick Brennan reported.

"While there are still some very small amounts of votes to be counted, the results are clear: an historic, diverse, five-borough coalition led by working-class New Yorkers has led us to victory in the Democratic primary for Mayor of New York City," Adams said in a statement. "Now we must focus on winning in November so that we can deliver on the promise of this great city for those who are struggling, who are underserved, and who are committed to a safe, fair, affordable future for all New Yorkers."

The Garcia campaign said the candidate will address the latest round of results on Wednesday.

Maya Wiley, who had an outside shot entering the counting of the 125,000-plus absentee ballots, was eliminated from contention, but did not concede.

"To my staff, endorsers, friends, volunteers and all the New Yorkers who share our vision for a reimagined New York City, I want to thank you for your fierce commitment to this city and your humbling support for my campaign. We will have more to say about the next steps shortly," Wiley said in a statement.

Political consultant Javier Lacayo said there appears to be a misconception about Democratic politics in the city, at least this year.

"It's notable that despite New York City's reputation for being a really progressive center of politics, the two top candidates are really two of the more moderate candidates that we had in the race. You had Eric Adams, who, as you said, is a former cop, and Kathryn Garcia, who is really a manager and really running on her ability to manage government in a more moderate way," Lacayo said.

Lacayo added fears of crime became key to an important block of voters.

"Eric Adams' background as a former cop spoke to a moment. Once crime became an issue and folks were basically afraid to ride the subway, you saw that Eric Adams did start consolidating a lot of support across the city," Lacayo said.

After a disastrous performance by the Board of Elections in this race, including an embarrassing vote-counting error, there is always the possibility of litigation by a campaign, but the numbers, however close right now, don't add up to a recount.

"No, this race is over. The margin is only 8,500 hundred, but 8,500 is way over what is necessary for a manual recount," election attorney Jerry Goldfeder told Brennan.

Assuming the Board of Elections finalizes the race, experts say 60-year-old Adams would be a heavy favorite against Republican Curtis Sliwa in November.

"The likelihood of a Republican being elected mayor today, not likely at all. Why? The Republican registration is down. It's 6-1 Democrats and there is nobody who has the star power required to win the election," political strategist Hank Sheinkopf said.

In another close contest, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson has conceded to City Councilman Brad Lander for the Democratic nomination for comptroller. Lander is up 51.9% to Johnson's 48.1%

Lander will go on to face Republicans Daby Carreras in November's general election.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.