New York City: Former Police Captain Eric Adams Wins Mayoral Race

Former Police Captain Eric Adams Wins New York City Mayoral Race

Adams will become the second Black mayor of the nation’s largest city.

He triumphed this summer in a crowded Democratic primary after he struck strong stance on law enforcement issues.


Former police captain Eric Adams cruised to victory Tuesday to become the next mayor of New York as voters across the U.S. picked new city leaders from candidates who were largely defined by their stances on police and crime.

Adams, who will become the second Black mayor of the nation’s largest city, first triumphed this summer in a crowded Democratic primary after he struck a nuanced stance on law enforcement issues. His message on crime and his experience as a police officer largely insulated him from attacks from his Republican opponent Curtis Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels anti-crime patrol.

He described being beaten by police officers as teenager when he was arrested for trespassing.

When he later became cop, he was vocal critic of the police department, advocated for Black officers and spoke out about injustices.

But he did not embrace some progressives’ ideas to defund the police by shifting money from law enforcement to social work and other programs aimed at addressing the causes of crime.

Police and crime issues came to the forefront in cities after the death of George Floyd last year led to a national reckoning on racial injustice and law enforcement. The debate centered on questions of when and where police are needed–or sometimes whether they’re needed at all. It also unfolded amid an increase in homicides in the wake of the pandemic.

In big cities, desire for middle-ground approach elevated candidates seen as more supportive of law enforcement or who have rejected liberal calls to defund the police.

In Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed, the push for change could upend law enforcement practices and help decide who leads the city.

The mayoral race in Buffalo puts India Walton, a democratic socialist, in a rematch with incumbent Mayor Byron Brown, the city’s first Black mayor and Democrat who lost the primary to Walton this summer.

He is now running as a write-in candidate with support from law enforcement and has criticized Walton for her plans to cut $7.5 million from the police department budget. She says the plan is aimed at addressing the root causes of crime. Brown says the move is “clearly defunding police.”

City Council President Felicia Moore, a longtime critic of Reed, is another top contender who has cited rising crime as a reason she’s running. Other candidates have spoken about adding more police officers and stressed the need to focus on the root causes of crime, such as affordable housing and unemployment.

The candidates, both Democrats in a nonpartisan race, have clashed over issues such as affordable housing, public education and transportation. But differences on policing and crime have also emerged.

Wu, daughter of Taiwanese immigrants and a protégé of liberal Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, has called for major police reforms. Before she was a candidate, Wu joined other city council members in calling for a 10% cut to the police department’s budget.