Eric Adams Has Big Night, Leads NYC Democratic Primary in First-Place Votes

Primary Day in New York City is officially over, and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams leads in first-place votes cast in the race for the Democratic nomination for mayor. It isn’t particularly close, either.

Adams has received around 31 percent of the first-place votes, with over 90 percent of in-person votes reported. Maya Wiley and Kathryn Garcia are in second and third with around 22 and 20 percent of the vote, respectively. Andrew Yang rounds out the top four with around 11.5 percent, nearly 20 points behind Adams. Scott Stringer (~5.2), Dianne Morales (~2.8), Ray Maguire (~2.4), and Shaun Donovan (~2.2) are the other candidates to receive more than 1 percent of first-place votes.

The results Tuesday night, which are unofficial, don’t mean Adams is going to be the nominee. He has received less than 50 percent of the vote required to win a ranked-choice election, which means an automatic recount will now be conducted. The last place candidate will be eliminated, with all of their votes going to whomever was ranked next on those ballots. The process will continue until one candidate surpasses the 50-percent threshold.

The winner will not be announced until July 12th at the earliest, according to the Board of Elections.

The BOE reported that over 190,000 New Yorkers voted early, which prior to this year had not been an option in the city’s municipal elections. It also noted that it received around 220,000 requests for absentee ballots. Absentee and affidavit ballots were not included in the count released Tuesday night, which means a considerable chunk of the total votes (which could be around 800,000) has yet to be counted. The BOE will release an updated count with mail-in ballots on July 6th.

Regardless of how those votes are cast, Adams has all but locked up the lead as the recount process begins. “There’s going to be 2s & 3s & 4s,” he said at his campaign party Tuesday night. “But there’s something else we know: New York City said our first choice is Eric Adams.”

The preliminary results didn’t stray too far from what recent polling has indicated. Adams, a former police captain who for the past seven years has served as Brooklyn borough president, began to separate himself as the frontrunner as the race entered its final months. Polls placed him with a comfortable lead over Garcia and Wiley, who have been neck-and-neck for second and third place, while Andrew Yang settled into fourth after leading the race in the early going.

The most surprising part of the results released Tuesday night may be the size of Adams’ lead, and it’s going to be hard for Wiley or Garcia to leapfrog him as candidates are eliminated and votes are reallocated. Adams seems pleased with his position. “What a moment,” he told his supporters. “The little guy won today.”

The race is far from over but, again, it’s looking good for Adams. According to Bay Area political strategist Alex Clemens, who spoke with Politico on Tuesday, the candidate with the most first-place votes has won all but 15 of the 429 ranked-choice elections that have been conducted in the United States.

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