Ex-policeman wins NYC Democratic mayoral primary

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Eric Adams campaigning outside his office in Brooklyn, NY 24 June 2021

Eric Adams campaigning outside his office in Brooklyn, NY 24 June 2021

A former police captain who promises to be tough on crime has been declared the winner of the race to pick a Democratic candidate to be New York City’s mayor.

Eric Adams, currently borough president of Brooklyn, is now likely to become the city’s second black leader.

The winner of the party primary is all but certain to become mayor in the heavily Democratic city.

Police figures last month showed crime in the city rose by 22% in the past 12 months and shootings were up 73%.

The Republican candidate in November’s general election will be Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels, an unarmed civilian patrol group known for their red berets.

Mr Adams, 60, is a moderate Democrat who denounced the “defund the police” movement during the campaign.

On the stump, he sought to tread a fine line between promising to reform the New York Police Department (NYPD) and keeping New Yorkers safe from crime.

Mr Adams told supporters on the night of last month’s primary election: “If black lives really matter, it can’t only be against police abuse. It has to be against the violence that’s ripping apart our communities.”

He was declared the winner on Tuesday evening by the Associated Press, a news agency that tracks vote counts in US national, state and local elections.

His big step towards city hall comes as Republicans blame a spike in homicides across a host of US cities for the “defund the police” movement advocated by liberal Democrats.

The Democratic governor of New York state, Andrew Cuomo, on Tuesday declared a disaster emergency order to address rising gun violence there.

Mr Adams’ nearest Democratic rival in the race was Kathryn Garcia, who would have been the first female mayor if elected.

The former city sanitation commissioner did not voice support for defunding police during her campaign.

As Brooklyn borough president, Mr Adams is unable to legislate but handles discretionary city spending and some constituent services.

If he becomes mayor, he would oversee a nearly $100bn (£72bn) budget in America’s largest city.

The spending plan passed last month by current New York Mayor Bill de Blasio increased the police budget by $200m – a year after he shifted $1bn from the NYPD budget amid the defund-the-police movement.

The unpopular Mr de Blasio, a Democrat, is leaving office at the end of this year due to term limits.

Mr Adams is the overwhelming favourite for November’s election given that registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in the city by seven to one.

David Dinkins was the first black mayor of New York City, serving from 1990-93.



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