Democrat Eric Adams, a former NYPD captain who has made anti-racism a principle in his life, became New York’s new mayor on Tuesday and the second black man to rule the largest city in the United States.
With 78% of the vote counted, Adams, 61, led the tally with 66.5%, compared to 28.8% for Republican challenger Curtis Sliwa.
In Manhattan he received 81% of the vote, in the Bronx 76%, 71% in Brooklyn and 59% in Queens, while in Staten Island he received 27% to 68% for the brilliant 67-year-old Republican, founder of Guardian Angels, a group Volunteers to patrol the streets with the police.
“Tonight I fulfilled my dream and I will with all my heart remove the barriers that prevent them from achieving theirs too,” emotional Adams said after greeting his followers at a Brooklyn hotel where he celebrated his victory.
Wearing a white T-shirt and his eternal glint in his ear, Adams promised that he would reduce inequality in the temple of capitalism and put an economy in disarray hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left 34,000 people dead in the city.
He was particularly praised when he said he would fight insecurity and crime, the main concern of a portion of the electorate, who trust him for his vast 22 years of experience in the police force.
“In four years, the city will never be the same again,” the janitor’s son and butcher promised.
This vegetarian is the second descendant of African descent to reach the mayor of New York after David Denkins (1990-1993).
On January 1, he will take up his new position, replacing the ill-fated Bill de Blasio.
After casting his vote in his hometown of Brooklyn, Adams said the election was a kind of revenge for this “baby” flirting with crime and social exclusion, as well as for New Yorkers from grassroots families.
“I hope it will be very different from the previous one (Bel de Blasio) and that the police will do their job because there is a lot of crime” on the streets, 60-year-old Dominican Iris Carreno told AFP. The situation worsened after the Covid-19 epidemic.
He said, “They stab people for nothing.”
“One is afraid to go out to go to the winery or the supermarket and for the sake of the children, something might happen to them,” says fellow countryman Maria, 50.
“If Eric doesn’t deliver on what he promised, this is the last time I vote as a Democrat,” Gabriel Taveras, 69, of the Dominican Republic, told AFP with great disappointment with outgoing mayor Bill de Blasio.
Insecurity is a major concern on the part of voters who hope Adams’s 22 years in the NYPD, where he became a captain, will be an advantage.
Unlike de Blasio, whose populist message drove him to victory in 2013, Adams, a centrist, won his party’s primaries thanks to middle-class voters, the black community and the labor movement, and has the support of the wealthy who tried to play. An important role in the economic recovery of the city.
Adams presents himself as a resolute leader, defender of the middle and popular classes, and anti-apartheid hero.
From the mayor, Adams will lead the largest police force in the United States, the New York Police Department, with 36,000 employees, and has promised to deepen its reform.
It will manage a budget of $98.700 million for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, the largest municipal budget in the United States.
The position of mayor of New York is considered the most difficult position after the presidency of the United States.