Democratic candidate Eric Adams won New York City’s mayoral election Tuesday night, defeating Republican challenger and “Guardian Angels” founder Curtis Sliwa in a race over who should lead the country’s most populous city.
Adams, the current president of Brooklyn, was overwhelmingly favored to win the election since defeating 12 other Democratic candidates in a primary election over the summer. Registered Democrats surpass Republicans by about seven-to-one in New York City.
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A former police captain, Adams, becomes the second black mayor in New York City’s history. He has vowed to crack down on violent crime while revising law enforcement tactics, though he has opposed calls from some city Democrats to “reject” police.
Adams will also be tasked with leading New York City’s ongoing economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced many businesses to shut down for several months. As the economy reopens, companies are trying to navigate new challenges due to opposition to vaccination mandates and a persistent shortage of labor.
An increase in crime during the COVID-19 pandemic was the key issue during the mayoral campaign, with both candidates promising that their tactics would result in less gun violence and safer streets.
Sliwa called for increased funding and employment for the New York City Police Department, trying to portray Adams as a close ally of outgoing mayor Bill de Blasio, who is leaving office due to time constraints. The Guardian Angels founder also spoke out against vaccination mandates for public workers and a requirement for proof of vaccination for customers at restaurants and entertainment venues, which Adams supports.
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A final debate between the two candidates heated up last month, with Adams and Sliwa dealing with personal attacks. Voting data showed that Adams had a leading lead in the days before the election.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.