Eric Adams was pronounced the winner of New York City’s Democratic mayoral primary on Tuesday after preliminary final numbers showed the centrist won 50.5 percent of the vote.
The Associated Press called the race for Adams after the results showed he narrowly defeated former sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia by 8,426 votes. Garcia received 49.5 percent after eight rounds of voting.
Adams, a former police captain, beat out a crowded field in New York’s first major race to use ranked-choice voting.
If elected, Adams would become the city’s second black mayor. As Democrats outnumber Republicans by 7-to-1 in New York City, according to the AP, Adams will be the likely victor of the general election.
The results come two weeks after voting in the primary ended, on June 22. While early returns showed Adams in the lead, tens of thousands of absentee ballots had to be counted and rounds of tabulations has to be done under the ranked-choice system in which voters ranked up to five candidates for mayor in order of preference.
Candidates with too few votes to win were eliminated and ballots cast for them were redistributed to the other candidates based on voter preference until only two were left.
However, the new voting system was marred by an error made as votes were being counted on June 29, when elections officials inadvertently included 135,000 old test ballots in the count. The incorrect vote tallies were posted for several hours before officials acknowledged the error and took them down.
On Tuesday, Adams noted in a statement that “there are still some very small amounts of votes to be counted” but said that “the results are clear: an historic, diverse, five-borough coalition led by working-class New Yorkers has led us to victory in the Democratic primary for Mayor of New York City.”
“Now we must focus on winning in November so that we can deliver on the promise of this great city for those who are struggling, who are underserved, and who are committed to a safe, fair, affordable future for all New Yorkers,” he said.
The 60-year-old moderate Democrat who served in the NYPD for 22 years created waves during the campaign as a vocal opponent of the “defund the police” movement.
“We’re not going to recover as a city if we turn back time and see an increase in violence, particularly gun violence,” Adams said following a shooting that wounded three people, including a 4-year-old girl in Time Square in May.
“If Black lives really matter, it can’t only be against police abuse. It has to be against the violence that’s ripping apart our communities,” he said the night of the primary.