Eric Adams won New York City’s mayoral election on Tuesday. The former police officer and Borough President of Brooklyn will be the city’s 110th mayor.
Adams is the second black person to be elected mayor of New York City. His victory was all but cemented this Summer after he won the Democratic primary in July, but his win became a reality earlier this week.
Adams’s opponent, the Republican Curtis Silwa, is the founder of the Guardian Angels anti-crime group. Adams was anticipated to defeat Silwa by a large margin on Tuesday night. Silwa had started a vigilante group in the 1970’s at the age of 24 during what was the most notoriously dangerous era in the city’s history, when crime was pervasive on public transit and Times Square was a completely unrecognizable den of crime.
But Silwa, who has been prone to media stunts and instability since then, also lacked formal experience as an elected official. Adams, on the other hand, spent years as a police officer in New York after having his own experiences with police brutality and petty crime as a youth on the streets of the city. His early life inspired him to become a police officer and change policing from the inside. Adams was later elected president of the borough of Brooklyn.
“I grew up poor in Brooklyn and Queens. I wore a bulletproof vest to keep my neighbors safe. I served my community as a state senator and Brooklyn borough president,” Adams said in a statement shared on Twitter. “And I’m honored to be the Democratic nominee to be the mayor of the city I’ve always called home.”
Eric Adams swept city in effort to become New York’s 110th Mayor
A large part of Adam’s platform was his stance on policing in the city, which has experienced an uptick in crime since the onset of the global pandemic. Adams also worked to spread his ideas across the entirety of New York, hoping to convert unexpected demographics in different pockets of the city. Dr. Christina Greer, who teaches political science at Fordham University, told Gothamist that Adams’ strategy helped him clearly communicate to voters his vision for the city:
“The interesting thing about Adams is that while his challengers were putting together these tight coalitions, he just went everywhere else in the city. He put together a group of people who felt like they weren’t being heard during the eight years of de Blasio and definitely during the twenty years of Republican control under Giuliani and Bloomberg.”
“He was out there talking to the folks, the not politically-connected people, who haven’t been at this table before,” Greer added. “When you talk to people who have lived with rats in their homes, who have been begging elected officials to take an issue like that at all seriously, they don’t know anyone — except for Eric Adams. He hears their issues.”