AFP, published on Wednesday 23 June 2021 at 06:08
Former police officer Eric Adams took an important step towards mayor of New York by coming in first Tuesday after the first recounts of the Democratic primary, even if the final results will not be known for several days.
Shortly after 11:30 p.m. (03:30 GMT), the current Brooklyn neighborhood president won 30.9% of the vote, according to the New York State Election Office, quite clearly ahead of progressive candidate Maya Wiley (21.6 %), which will have finished the campaign as a cannonball.
With 86% Democrats among New Yorkers affiliated with a party, the winner of Tuesday’s primary is almost guaranteed to win on November 2, general election day, and succeed Bill de Blasio, in office since 2014 and extremely unpopular.
After 16 months of health crisis which weakened the city’s economy, it will be up to the new city councilor to revive New York, which is wondering about its future.
The embodiment of a revival, the entrepreneur Andrew Yang had long been in the lead, before stalling in recent weeks and collapsing frankly Tuesday, to glean only 11.6% of the vote.
In the middle of the evening, the former candidate for the Democratic presidential primary admitted defeat. “I won’t be New York’s next mayor based on tonight’s numbers,” he said.
Arrived at the head Tuesday, Eric Adams benefited from his image of former police officer, in a city where the insecurity is now at the top of the concerns of New Yorkers.
Even though crime figures remain at historically low levels, shootings are up 73% since the start of the year, and a spate of incidents in the metro has recently increased the pressure, with support local chains and tabloids.
“New York really needs order,” said Susan Green, 74, on Tuesday morning after voting on the Upper East Side. “I have seen drastic changes and I don’t like what I’m seeing,” said the woman who voted for Andrew Yang.
Born and raised in New York, Eric Adams is a self-made man, a police officer for 22 years who worked, during his career as a law enforcement official, against the discrimination that plagued the New York police.
– Moderate vs. progressive –
Behind the favorite, Maya Wiley performed well, supported by the support of several figures from the left wing of the Democratic Party, first of all elected to Congress Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The former advisor to outgoing mayor Bill de Blasio positioned himself as an alternative to a security approach, proposing in particular to cut part of the police budget, as demanded by many activists of the movement born after the death of George Floyd.
With more than 89% of the ballots counted (the remaining count of the votes by correspondence), she was ahead on Tuesday Kathryn Garcia (20.4%), former municipal head of cleanliness Kathryn Garcia, who is a synthesis between the moderate wing and the progressive branch of the party.
But nothing is settled, because New York adopted this year, for its primaries only, the so-called “ranked-choice” vote, which allows up to five names to appear on the same ballot, ranked in order. preferably.
During the counting, the candidate with the lowest ranking on the total ballots is eliminated and the second choice of the voters who placed him first is now counted. The mechanics then repeat themselves until a candidate reaches 50% of the vote.
This elimination system, added to the already traditionally significant delays in New York for the counting of ballots by correspondence, could postpone the announcement of the winner of the primary to mid-July.
The uncertainty over the traditionally very low turnout (14% of Democrats voted in the last primary in 2017) further complicates the equation.
The absence of a candidate for more than 30% in the polls and the launch of this new voting method make this primary “unique” in the history of the city, according to Doug Muzzio, professor of political science at the University of Baruch .