The Race for Mayor of New York City


  • As current Mayor Bill de Blasio’s term comes to an end, the race for the Mayor of New York City has been heating up, especially since the pandemic has brought forth a challenging series of issues like: public safety and socioeconomic inequality.  
  • This is the first mayoral election where New York City has used a rank choice voting system, which allows candidates to work together more and allows voters to rank their top five candidates by preference. 
  • Eric Adams ended up winning the Democratic nomination, which almost guarantees he will be the mayor, as New York is a primarily democratic city. 
  • Mr. Adams pulled through over two close contenders, Kathryn Garcia and Maya Wiley, by taking authority on public safety issues, emphasizing his background in law enforcement. 

As  New York City begins to reopen the threat of the pandemic dwells, the race for mayor is just beginning to heat up. The city has just emerged out of a public health crisis and an economic catastrophe, so this leaves us with the question: who will lead New York City as it enters a new chapter, post-pandemic?  

What you will learn from this article: 

  1. What is different about this election compared to past elections? 
  2. Who are the candidates for Mayor of New York City, and what issues are they discussing?
  3. What are the primary election results? 

1: What Makes This Mayoral Election Different from Previous Ones? 

For the first time in New York City’s history, the mayor will be decided by ranked-choice voting; this was decided by a referendum in 2019. This gives voters the opportunity to rank their top five candidates in order of preference. Ranked-choice voting creates opportunities for candidates to form alliances together, like Andrew Yang and Kathryn Garcia did towards the end of the campaign in hopes to defeat frontrunner, Eric Adams. Additionally, the primary election usually takes place in September, but it has been pushed back to June due to the city’s shutdown.  Despite this nontraditional election, the build-up to the primary has been filled with stereotypical election drama.

Voters in New York City will get to rank their top 5 candidates for the mayoral election (Karsten Moran/The New York Times).

2: Who Are the Candidates for Mayor of New York City, and What Topics are of Greatest Interest?

As polls closed on the night of June 22nd, there were a few leaders in the primary election to succeed Bill de Blasio, the current mayor of New York City. There is Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President; Andrew Yang, a former Democratic presidential candidate; Kathryn Garcia, a former city sanction commissioner; Maya Wiley, a former attorney for the de Blasio administration; and Scott Stringer, the Manhattan Borough President. 

Throughout the numerous debates and discussions, one topic has emerged as the most prevalent and pressing issue: public safety. As the city reopened, there was an influx of mass shootings, violence on subways, and hate crimes targeted against Asian Americans and Jews. Consequently,  public safety has been dubbed the primary concern of democratic voters; behind public safety are issues like education, socioeconomic inequality, and handling businesses and real estate communities. New York’s highest-ranking member in the House of Representatives, Hakeem Jeffries, confirmed the importance of debating crime: “how to balance that aspiration with fair, respectful policing, I think has been critical throughout the balance of this campaign.” Eric Adams has a background in law enforcement as a former police captain, and he views public safety as a “prerequisite to prosperity.”  This view helped him gain the votes of individuals who want to see an increased amount of police officers on the streets and especially on the subways. Other candidates, like Mr. Stringer and Ms. Wiley, support decreasing the budget of the Police Department and reallocating those funds into the community. Mr. Yang has lost traction through the discussion of crime, as his lack of municipal knowledge has shown through, and he has not recovered. 

Candidates running for the position of Mayor of New York City (James Estrin/The New York Times, Eduardo Munoz/Reuters, Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press, Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters, Laylah Amatullah Barrayn for The New York Times and Victor J. Blue for The New York Times).

3: The Primary Election Results Have Recently Been Released: Who Won? 

As of  Tuesday, July 6th,  Eric Adams has been declared the winner of the Democratic primary election for Mayor of New York City, which puts him on track to become the next mayor of the city (New York City is overwhelmingly democratic, so Adams should be elected over his Republican challenger). Adams will be just the second black mayor of America’s largest city. Mr. Adams has won arguably the most critical election in recent times, and he will have to put New York on the right path to a road of recovery from not only a pandemic, but the divisiveness and inequalities the pandemic has exacerbated. Ms. Garcia and Ms. Wiley finished right behind Mr. Adams with the ranked-choice system, in second and third place respectively, but Adams was able to pull a larger number of votes from working-class African Americans and Latinos, as well as with moderate whites. 

The results of this race reveal the Democratic sentiment on multiple issues, especially tackling crime, which has been of utmost discussion over the course of the mayoral campaign. Mr. Adams has the  experience and knowledge from his law enforcement background, which he made abundantly clear in his debates and other discussions, and this ultimately helped push him ahead in the race and lead him to a victory. 

Eric Adams was named the winner of the mayoral primary in New York City, clenching the Democratic nominee spot (James Estrin/The New York Times).   


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